Bigbelly is turning New York's smart garbage bins into wi-fi hotspots

Clara Guibourg
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Bigbelly wants to turn hundreds of bins into wi-hi hubs (Source: Bigbelly)

New York’s rubbish bins were already pretty smart. Now they’re going online.

The waste management company Bigbelly has applied for a grant from the city’s Mayor’s Office to convert its several hundred NYC bins into wi-fi hotspots, in the latest example of unexpected devices hooking up to the Internet of Things.

This is an expansion of a pilot project the company trialled last year, where it equipped two of its bins with wireless internet reaching speeds of up to 75 megabits per second, fast enough to download a film in just nine minutes.

Internet connection is just the latest upgrade for these smart solar-powered bins - they were already able to detect when rubbish needed compacting, or when they needed emptying, and Bigbelly also envisions that it'll soon be able to use the bins to collect data about waste management or display public service announcements.

The connected bins follow the city’s decision last year to turn most of its 10,000 remaining pay phones into “links”, or wi-fi hubs.

May we never have to go without wi-fi again....

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