Solar-Powered Rubbish Bins
They crush our litter, send an email when they are nearly full and are powered entirely by the Sun – but what tech makes these trash cans so sophisticated?
Solar-powered bins contain a sensor to detect when they are full. When litter reaches the level of the sensor, an internal compaction mechanism is activated, crushing the rubbish to make more space. The bins can therefore hold up to eight times more refuse than traditional trash cans, with a capacity of around 800 liters (211 gallons). The compaction mechanism runs on a standard 12-volt battery so requires very little power. This enables the bins to be used in areas that don’t receive much sunlight; in fact, they can even work in the shade – most need just eight hours of sunlight a month to power the compactor and internal electrical components.
Many of these bins also include a sensor connected to a wireless transmitter, which sends a signal to the local waste disposal company when the bin has been ﬁlled to 85 per cent capacity. This makes the waste collection process much more efficient.