A startup is turning New York City waste receptacles into sources of free street-level, solar-powered internet in addition to their current capabilities, which include signalling for a pickup when the garbage is filling up or starting to smell.
The city already has over 100 smart bins from Bigbelly waste management that are each able to relay information about their status wirelessly, so adding this functionality is a natural next step, particularly in dense areas where signals have limited range (as they can’t pass through tall buildings).
The connected system has all kinds of potential growth paths, including public alerts and data collection for the city government. If a waste space seems like a strange place to find such things, consider the necessary ubiquity of such systems – it is really only natural to turn something on every street corner more functional.
Another initiative to turn pay phones into Wi-Fi hubs is also underway. Meanwhile, Bigbelly is glad to be pushing in new directions: “We are a smart solar-powered, connected technology platform that is literally sitting in the streets of New York. We are exactly where the people are.”