'Smart bins' are coming to the UK and could spell the end of hand-separating recycling. Could we bring such an innovation into NZ?

 

A new "smart bin" could spell the end of environment-conscious families spending hours sorting tins, cartons, bottles, and cardboard for recycling.

The invention, which automatically sorts rubbish into recycling categories, is being trialed in Poland and is set to go on sale in UK within a few years.

The bin, designed by start-up company Bin.E, recognizes different type of waste via a system positioned inside the bin which uses sensors, image recognition and artificial intelligence.Once waste is placed inside, the camera and sensors identify its type and place it in one of the smaller bins. Then it compresses the waste so it occupies less space.

News of the launch comes after this newspaper revealed that more than a million households are being forced to accept bin collections every three or four weeks, because councils are trying to force them to recycle more.

 

Data compiled by The Telegraph has revealed at least 18 councils have moved or will shortly be moving to three-weekly rubbish collections, while a further three have adopted or are trialing four-weekly collections. 

While reducing general bin collections councils are increasing the frequency of recycling collections in a bid to change people's behaviour.

It is thought that the bin could be stocked by department stores such as John Lewis, which said it is introducing new hi-tech recycling bins to satisfy increasing customer appetite for them.
Matt Thomas, utility buyer at John Lewis, said: "We’ve recently seen a jump in specialist bins sales, with a 25 per cent increase in the last few months alone. We have noticed our customers are becoming more and more sustainability focused, opting for dual compartment recycling bins that make it far easier to recycle different types of waste.

"In response to this demand, we are really excited to introduce a new voice and sensor activated smart bin this autumn/winter season – designed to use innovative technology to make recycling more efficient and functional for the everyday home."

Bin.E's official release on the market will take place in 2018, however at first only a larger version designed for offices will be available.
The office bin will retail at £430 while corporate customers will need to pay a £107 subscription fee for an accompanying smartphone app, which hooks them up with collection services. 

A spokesman at Bin.E said the home version of the bin will be cheaper and will not include a monthly payment.
They added: "After the office version, we plan to create an outdoor version and later the home version. We decided to go for the outdoor version for public areas first because it is more difficult to organize an efficient waste segregating system than in our homes."


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Source : The Telegraph