Public Trash Cans That Report When They’re Full
"Hi, this is garbage can number 4601970. I am full of garbage."
Garbage can use varies. In Finland, where the Enevo One smart garbage can sensor was invented, the garbage cans near the sea are filled as quickly as they can be emptied during the summertime. Summertime in Finland is lovely, I bet! People hang out by the sea, fishermen and sailors do their fishing and sailing, and Finlanders of all sorts do things that result in garbage.
But in the wintertime, I’m guessing, that nice little coastal area is now covered in approximately one to three vertical miles of ice (note: may not be entirely accurate). So there are fewer tourists touristing, fewer hangers hanging, fewer fishermen fishing, and fewer sailors sailing. Which means there’s less garbage as well. But the garbage trucks have to come by with the same frequency, whether the can is overflowing or whether it’s empty.
This is actually a problem! Unnecessary pickups waste time, labor, and energy: garbage trucks use lots of fuel and emit lots of things we don’t like very much, and you can drastically reduce the amount of waste by cutting down on the amount of time you spend on the road. So the Enevo One system provides a solution: a very small puck-shaped sensor that mounts to the underside of the garbage can lid. It can sense how full the can is, and communicate that information to the collection company.
Even better, the Enevo has some “smart” qualities, meaning it can do a little bit of light thinking for itself. It collects and analyzes the garbage data and draws conclusions from it, so it can figure out when each can is likely to be full, how long it takes, and when the fullness ebbs and flows (if it does). There’s no reason it needs to be restricted to Finland; this kind of tech would work well just about anywhere, though it might need a slight adjustment for international cans (here in New York City, for example, the cans have no lids). Also, it looks cool, and as always, we love all garbage tech.