Council will trial ’smart’ bin sensors and fly-tipping app

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Perth & Kinross Council is installing sensors in all public litter bins in Perth City Centre over the next few weeks to alert waste services when they need to be emptied.  The city centre roll out is part of a Smart Waste Project, jointly funded by the Council and a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme known as ‘Scotland’s 8th City — the Smart City’.

Perth City Centre currently has more than 160 litter bins and it is hoped that by fitting  these bins with sensors it will allow the bins to emptied only when needed and further improve collection routes by using the data generated to site bins in places where they fill up quickly, therefore assisting in litter prevention.

The project will also enable the Council to work with other local authorities to deliver modern waste services using similar technology and data. Schemes are currently being planned for Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Stirling.

Convener of Perth & Kinross Council’s Environment Enterprise & Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Colin Stewart commented: “This is a great project contributing our efforts to make the city centre a great place to visit.

“It sits alongside the re-opening of Perth Theatre, Perth free WiFi, free weekend parking in Council car parks during December and the Winter Festival.  I am very keen that we use data and technology to make our services better and continue to improve the cleanliness and appearance of Perth City Centre for residents and visitors alike.”

The project will initially see the installation of smart, wireless sensors to every litter bin in the city centre and all glass recycling points in Perth. The technology measures the fill-level of the bins and this data will feed through to software to show when and where bins need to be emptied. This will increase efficiency, save fuel in terms of collection vehicles and reduce the environmental impact of waste collection.

The Smart Waste Project also aims to reduce the problem of fly-tipping in Perth and Kinross and will contribute to the delivery of the Litter Action Plan (2015-2020). Early in the New Year the Council plans to implement the FlyMapper app which will be used by dedicated waste teams to record fly-tipping incidents across the area.

This data will be uploaded onto the national fly-tipping database, (managed by Zero Waste Scotland), and will play a major role in tackling fly-tipping by enabling the identification of fly-tipping hotspots by the Council’s waste teams who will undertake appropriate steps to tackle the issue.

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