But the time has come to make already highly improved trash bins even smarter by installing Wi-Fi units inside them.
Previous attempts by other companies to provide the city with bases for free wireless Internet failed, largely due to obvious reasons: buildings interfered with signals, among other technical limitations.
TSU students using the new Big Belly solar powered recycle containers pic.twitter.com/tAYUGAh0a0— Darrell Bunch (@Papibear63) September 4, 2014
However, test conducted by Bigbelly and Downtown Alliance following the installation of Wi-Fi units inside experimental garbage containers near Wall Street gave positive results. When the units are placed on street level, the signal from the Bigbelly containers was not blocked by towering skyscrapers, and its quality was fine.
"We are a smart solar-powered, connected technology platform that is literally sitting in the streets of New York," said Leila Dillon, Bigbelly's vice president of global marketing. "We are exactly where the people are."
Apart from the obvious public benefit, such high-tech bins may also come in handy by collecting data about waste management or displaying public service announcements and alerts.
After a few more pilot tests, Bigbelly CEO Jack Kutner is hoping to pull in sponsorship and grants to expand the service to other cities.