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New Exeter smart bins to make collections more efficient

Published: 17 September 2021

New Exeter smart bins to make collections more efficient New intelligent litter bins

New ‘intelligent’ litter bins that squash the waste down and send out a message when they’re full have been installed at a popular beauty spot in Exeter.

The bins – located at Bromhams Farm Car Park, close to the Exeter Ship Canal - are solar-powered and notify staff at the City Council when they need emptying. It is hoped that the technology will help make collections of waste more efficient.

The bins also say ‘thank you’ when litter is deposited inside them and lock down when they are full, preventing them from overflowing.

Cllr David Harvey, Lead Councillor for City Management, said: “The beauty of these bins is that they don’t need emptying as often as traditional bins because they are able to compact the waste inside them.

“We will also be able to know exactly when they’re full which means we can provide a much more efficient service.”

The installation of the bins has been made possible thanks to a grant from environmental charity WRAP’s £18 million Resource Action Fund. WRAP administers the fund on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The City Council’s bid for funding is part of an ongoing project to identify the right type of bin to help reduce the frequency of emptying bins and ultimately improve service standards.

As part of the project, larger bins have been installed next to the RSPB site in Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham, but without the smart technology, to see if the increase in capacity is enough on its own.

There is also a domestic fly tipping trial going on at the same time. New bins that make fly tipping difficult have been installed at 15 sites in Exeter where fly tipping is prevalent.

“When people use our bins for fly tipping domestic waste, it means we have to visit these sites more frequently,” said Cllr Harvey. “This comes at the expense of other street cleaning activities throughout the city and stops the bins being used for their proper use, often pushing the bin to overflowing.”

In the past the City Council has been forced to take these bins out of use because they have been abused by the fly tippers.

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