ABERDEEN is set to spearhead a refuse revolution by installing hi-tech litter bins in the city centre – which will also provide free wi-fi access for visitors to the area.
• Bins will use wi-fi technology to alert refuse department when they are full
• Wi-fi hotspots will also be used to distribute tourist information advice
The City Council, in partnership with the Aberdeen Inspired initiative, is planning to spend almost £250,000 by ordering 60 “Big Belly Bins” for key locations around the city centre.
The solar powered bins are fitted with waste compactors, ensuring they need emptied less often than standard designs. The bins also use wireless technology to alert authorities when they are full and the electronics used to issue the alerts will also allow the bins to act as wi-fi hotspots, providing visitors with up to date guides to the city and its sights, shops and restaurants.
The £246,500 cost of the project is to be shared by the city council and Aberdeen Inspired, the banner under which the Aberdeen BID (Business Improvement District) is operating.
Susan Bree, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “We want Aberdeen to be at the forefront when it comes to technology and the Big Belly Bins are just one of the examples of the initiatives we are pressing ahead with.
“They have been very well received in various major cities and our research convinced us they were a very worthwhile investment for Aberdeen.”
She continued: “Not only will they prevent the problem of overflowing bins, which in turn lead to litter on the streets, but they will also cut down on unnecessary work because they will only need emptied when full rather than requiring daily visits by Aberdeen City Council refuse teams. That will lead to significant cost savings for the council.
“The additional feature of providing wi-fi access is also a major bonus, all part of our wider aim to increase footfall in the city centre and make Aberdeen more attractive to visitors.”
Steven Shaw, the council’s environmental manager, said: “This is a hugely positive step forward for waste collection and management in Aberdeen and will allow for more effective and efficient litter emptying operations. A trial bin has been in place on St Nicholas Street and has been a huge success. It is emptied every three or four days, compared to our normal litter bins in the same area which are emptied twice a day.
“Aberdeen City Council is delighted to be working with Aberdeen Inspired on this ambitious project and we look forward to seeing this initiative rolled out across the city.”