M2M Communications Revolutionizes Waste & Recycling Management

You probably don’t give them much thought, passing by dozens, if not hundreds each day, occasionally tossing in a wrapper, an empty cup, a crumpled newspaper. But public space waste and recycling bins are an essential public service, keeping city streets, parks, and other areas clean and free of litter.

Keeping up with those receptacles is an expensive proposition, consuming a disproportionate amount of labor and fuel for the volume of material collected – often costing more than $2,000 per year to service each location. Any breakdown in that collection can result in a host of problems, from overflowing trash cans to pest-related health and safety issues.

Today’s technology has turned this model on its head, creating opportunities for massive efficiency improvements that save cities and other organizations time and money and other resources, especially in tough economic times. Innovators such as BigBelly Solar bring the power of wireless technology to the city streets, enabling collection crews to use real-time data to provide “just-in-time” collection services to trash receptacles throughout an area.

With this solution, each location is constantly monitored and use cellular data to provide a view into what is happening on the streets from a connected device. With this data, dispatchers can limit trips and cover more ground with fewer resources. Additionally, management can have visibility into when locations are serviced, creating a new level of accountability that was difficult to attain via manual spot-checks.

“The BigBelly Solar solution gives us an efficient way to manage our on-street waste collection that demonstrates the City’s overall commitment to sustainability,” said Victoria O. Johnson, SWS Director, City of Charlotte. “The management console will enable us to improve operations and deliver tremendous efficiencies by significantly reducing collections – with no risk of overflow or litter.”

A pioneer in recycling and waste disposal, BigBelly Solar has more than 1,000 customers around the world. Now, together with Verizon, BigBelly Solar is bringing its machine-to-machine solution onto the network for a superior experience and coverage.

As cities long to “get smart,” an intelligent waste and recycling collection system is an essential ingredient, and many are starting to take notice. This past November, BigBelly Solar was recognized by the World Smart Cities Awards, adding one more honor to a long list of acknowledgements for its work in cities such as Philadelphia, Boston and Chicago.

Check out more from Verizon at CES.