With 254 million tons of garbage generated each year, according to 2013 EPA statistics, it is no wonder that some portion of it spills into the roadways, sidewalks and green spaces of America. As seen in the above video, Grant Jenkins and the company he cofounded, eCeptacle, believes their IoT solution, not only can help reduce litter, but provide efficiencies to local governments. In this case, the acronym IoT could mean the Internet of Trash.
Its invention of a connected, compacting trash can, the PowerBin, provides multiple features that wouldn’t be possible in the traditional passive litter bin, including:
- Reporting its fill level, so pick-ups can be optimized to when they are needed versus the traditional scheduled approach
- Integrated WiFi hotspots
- Emergency alert capability through the integration of sensors, such as gun-shot detection, high-definition cameras and smart phone applications to provide a sort of wireless 911, but with very precise coordinates
- Non-sensitive data collection and analysis that could be used as additional revenue through sale to data brokers
- Advertising and public awareness messages via the screens affixed to either side of the PowerBin.
What sets it apart from other smart garbage competitors, such as BigBelly, is that the eCeptacle business model is geared around advertising as a way to pay for these intelligent trash receptacles (although they can be purchased as well, so the owner can keep the advertising revenue). As seen in the above video, the messages on the video screens can be localized and would be perfect for areas requiring dynamic advertisements (convention center areas, for instance). Jenkins hints that the next version will use low power, e-ink screens to eliminate the need for electricity from the grid.
Look for these in eCeptacle’s hometown of Indianapolis in the next four months.