NYC 'smart' trash cans may soon double as Wi-Fi hotspots

Dive Brief:

  • Bigbelly, the Needham, MA-based waste solution company that installed 170 solar powered trash compactors through the streets of NYC in 2014, is beginning to add Wi-Fi units to the trash cans.
  • Last winter, Bigbelly teamed up with NYC-based Downtown Alliance to turn two of the containers into Wi-Fi hotspots, both of which had promising bandwidths of 50 to 75 megabits per second. 
  • In addition to offering New Yorkers access to Wi-Fi, the units in the containers may also help the government assess data regarding waste management.

Dive Insight:

In order to continue installation of the Wi-Fi units, Bigbelly will need sponsorship and funding. However, receiving grants should not be difficult considering the level of success that the Wi-Fi units have had in trial runs. “We are a smart solar-powered, connected technology platform that is literally sitting in the streets of New York,” says Leila Dillon, Bigbelly’s vice president of global marketing. “We are exactly where the people are.”

NYC isn't the only city that has access to these "smart" containers. Both Detroit and Iowa City have installed the solar-powered cans, which can compact up to 150 gallons of litter, compared to the un-compacted 35 gallons that can be contained in a traditional can. 

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Filed Under: Regulation
Top image credit: Wikimedia