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Hull's bins go smart

Sensors monitor waste levels and can also detect sudden motion or shaking which triggers a vandalism alert

Alamgir's company, Connexin, is helping deploy the next-gen smart infrastructure
Alamgir's company, Connexin, is helping deploy the next-gen smart infrastructure

A new pilot project is seeking to make overflowing waste bins a thing of the past in the city of Hull in the north east of England.


A partnership between Hull City Council and local technology firm Connexin will see smart bins introduced across the city to help improve waste collection.

Sensors installed inside the bins will be responsible for gathering data in real time, turning every bin into an intelligent ‘smart bin’.


The smart bins will monitor waste levels so the council’s street cleansing teams can see when they need emptying. The sensors can also detect a sudden motion or shaking, which automatically triggers vandalism alerts, as well as sudden spikes in bin temperature, which trigger fire detection warnings.


In the coming weeks, Connexin will install 30 smart waste sensors inside 15 public waste bins in parks, public spaces and high streets across Hull.


Until now waste collection teams have had to target each and every bin without knowing if they are full or empty. The new smart bins will communicate information on fill levels to help understand the optimal times for waste collections and can recommend time-effective collection routes.

“Tackling waste issues is a top priority for Hull City Council, and we are always keen to explore ways in which we can make our services much more effective. Smart city technologies are just one way in which we can provide an improved service for our city, and achieve our aim to create a litter-free environment that residents are proud to live in,” said councillor Anita Harrison, portfolio holder for Streetscene at Hull City Council.

She added: “The council sees smart city technologies as key components of its strategic corporate plan, as well as a major contributor to the city plan, and we are delighted that Hull will be recognised as a leading smart city in the UK.”


If the six-month pilot is successful, it will help ensure Hull’s bins are emptied more efficiently, resulting in bins being emptied before they overflow and fewer unnecessary collection vehicle journeys. This will reduce congestion on the roads, cutting CO2 emissions, while having fewer instances of unsafe and unsightly overflowing bins. It will also help the council advise on the local placement of litter bins.

“As a local company we are really proud to be working with Hull City Council in deploying the next generation of smart infrastructure,” added Furqan Alamgir, CEO, Connexin.

“This technology will enable teams on the ground to make more informed choices by emptying bins based on fill level, traffic conditions and much more, reducing unnecessary travel time related to waste collection around the city, in turn saving time, fuel and CO2 emissions.”


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