‘Bintel’ is an innovative urban waste management system that aims to improve the liveability, attractiveness, efficiency, and environmental management of the city and its services. Developed in line with a re-imagination of urban areas’ pre-existing infrastructure, ‘Bintel’ provides potential administrations with an opportunity to increase their influence throughout the city more efficiently and cost-effectively through the use of low-cost sensors.

Full Description

Re-invigorating one of urban administrations most resource-intensive initiatives, ‘Bintel’ aims to provide decision makers with context and location specific information in real time analysis of city life. ‘Bintel’ is another component of an increasingly wider constellation of instrumented devices, often developed under the remit of the wider smart city agenda. The embedding of low cost sensors into previously ‘unconnected’ devices aims to provide councils with additional sources of big data. Utilising both the hardware and software provided by both Intel and IBM at this event, this service provides prospective councils with an opportunity to govern in a dynamic manner while simultaneously seeks to make cities cleaner, safer, efficient, and more connected. By alerting prospective councils’ attention to imminent environmental and infrastructural concerns this form of technology aims to optimise the management of waste collection routes. Moreover, this managerial optimisation seeks to reduce both fuel and labourcosts along more environmentally supportive rationales. Accordingly, this data may be correlated with the city’s various other datasets in order to create a more contextually contingent visualisation of the city from a wider perspective. The smart design of the product's hardware allows for both the replication of the product on a wider scale and for the simple installation of the product within the confines of a bin's interior.

The primary aim of ‘Bintel’ is to address existing issues by retrofitting already existing mediums like the vast array of bins that are dotted around the city’s various neighbourhoods. The neat nature of the product's hardware, produced within the confines of the hackathon, aids this aim wholeheartedly. In the digitally enhanced streetscapes of modern cities this initiative seeks to provide self-powered, energy efficient, ubiquitous, and low cost sensors in comparison to contemporary private models whose pricing plans differ dramatically.

Where we are now

Since the conclusion of the hackathon our team has continuously tried to improve upon the prototype created at the event. Improvements have been undertaken with regard to both the hardware and software of the product. Subsequent developments prior to the event have echoed the suitability and potential of this product both from an Irish and international perspective. With this suitability in mind the team has been approached by representatives of Dublin City Council and specifically the council’s Waste Management Division to discuss the potential deployment of a robust prototype on one of the city’s busiest streets. Initial meetings have been overwhelmingly positive resulting in discussions surrounding the trialling of the product on street level. Initial testing has been undertaken in order to physically position the product within a number of bins and this has also yielded constructive results. This progress is extremely encouraging when the fact that Dublin City Council addressed the initial opening of the hackathon is taken into consideration.

The version to be deployed uses a long life battery and a small solar cell. We are also in the process of preparing a 3G enabled version that will be deployed in areas where the city’s WiFi network is not yet available. Our team’s principal aim is to provide technological assistance to the council to allow it to maximize its resources most efficiently. By providing each bin in the city with a unique identifier, our product will create a complete dashboard of litter collection for the city council’s Waste Management Services. Over time, as data emanating from the bins is collected, optimal routes may be created in order to increase the efficiency of collection. This information may also illustrate what geographic locations within the city are placed under the most strain and whether the city’s resources should then alter as a result. The clarity of the product and the information acquired as a consequence of its use, coupled with the robust nature of its hardware, is only outdone by the cost-effective nature of the service provided.

Proof of Concept:

Map of Bins on Bluemix

Click on this once the map is open to emulate a bin interaction

This is what the dashboard looks like:


And these are metrics for each of the bins:

Slide Presentation

Bintel,An Open-source Smart Bin Solution

Video Presentation

Bintel Video Presentation

Future Improvements

We have done our best to keep Bintel as low-cost as possible, however there are lots of features that can be added. Some of these features are:
  • Weighing the trash 
  • Checking the temperature of the bin (e.g. to make sure it's not too high or that vandals haven't set it on fire)
  • Checking the humidity (in combination with the temperature) could help us predict bad smell around the full bins (contents might be rotting).




Alejandro Ricatti    
Neeku Shamekhi    
Gary Hester
Jules Fitzsimons
Darach Mac Donncha



We used Node.js, Node-Red and Cloudant to build the dashboard and store the data


Competing for Best Hardware project