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Solar-Powered Smart Trashcans with Wireless Sensors are Coming to Baltimore

Morgan Hatfield, Social Media Intern, Consumer Technology Association

Smart cities technology can refer to any number of systems and devices: public wifi, data collection with IoT sensors, smart streetlights, smart traffic lights and more. Smart cities tech can even get down to the nitty-gritty of trash collection, which is what the city of Baltimore is doing.

In 2014, an average of 1.1 tons of trash was generated every day in just Maryland alone. With an estimated average increase in population of one percent per year, the amount of trash has also continued to increase. In order to more efficiently collect trash and reduce the carbon footprint of trash trucks, the city’s finance department has invested $15 million in the Ecube Labs solar-powered smart trashcans and their installations around downtown.

The smart trash bins are not only solar-powered, but they can also compress the trash so the bin can hold eight times more than it would normally. Once the trashcans are at their maximum capacity, the CleanCap sensor can wirelessly alert the Department of Publics Works (DPW) offices and update the GPS route that the DPW truck drivers follow.

The ability to automatically update the trash collection routes to minimize the number of pick up points can reduce the operational cost of traditional trash collection by up to 80 percent which also allows for less fuel and fewer trucks to operate.

Watch this video to learn more about the optimization of trash collection with these smart trashcans:

Mark your calendars for CES 2019, January 8-11, to see the latest in smart cities tech.