Batteries Helping Keep Streets Clean

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Colombia is a vibrant South American country edging the Pacific Ocean. It is battling to control street litter as the population booms like most other developing nations around the world. Colombia has waste bins at strategic points in all major cities. The challenge is to empty them just before they begin to overflow. We have learned they have batteries helping keep streets clean in Colombia. These are in smart bins that request emptying before they become over full.

Technology Behind Batteries Helping Keep Streets Clean

The technology is already in place in Ibague and Santa Maria on a trial basis. Solar provides the energy to power the system. Batteries deliver consistent electricity, while maintaining a stockpile for cloudy outages and on dark nights. There are three components to the system.

First, battery powered probes monitor how full the bins are, and transmit the data over wireless to the city waste center. Secondly, a solar-driven compactor reduces the waste automatically to increase bin capacity.

Finally, when the compacted fill level exceeds a certain threshold, the sensor makes a radio call requesting a garbage truck.  We looked high and low for a non-commercial explainer video, and this one made it past the starter’s block.

Added Advantages of Solar-Battery-Powered Smart Bins

Having batteries helping keep streets clean, and preventing bins from overflowing has financial advantages too. In the first instance, the smart bins have up to eight times greater capacity than conventional ones. Moreover, the city can deploy its garbage trucks more efficiently reducing fuel and labor costs. Finally, the city streets are cleaner and tidier. This attracts more tourists and increases the income the community earns.

Further Community-Building Smart Bin Benefits

Participating cities are finding additional advantages to having batteries helping keep streets clean and professional. They have realized the technology is also a multi-media wireless communication medium. Thus, they also use it to dispense tourist information, and communicate online with their citizens. Once again, humble batteries feed the power that makes this ‘internet of bins’ function smoothly and reliably.


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Preview Image: Waste Hierarchy (Drstuey at the English language Wikipedia)

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About Author


I tripped over a shrinking bank balance and fell into the writing gig unintentionally. This was after I escaped the corporate world and searched in vain for ways to become rich on the internet by doing nothing. Despite the fact that writing is no recipe for wealth, I rather enjoy it. I will not deny I am obsessed with it when I have the time. My base is Umtentweni in South Africa on the Kwazulu-Natal South Coast (30.7167° S, 30.4667° E). I work from home where I ponder on the future of the planet, and what lies beyond in the great hereafter. Sometimes I step out of my computer into the silent riverine forests, and empty golden beaches for which the area is renowned.

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