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Temple Bar rubbish bins will ‘talk’ to your smartphone

Plans to incorporate technology that will alert you to free wi-fi hotspots, as well as events and activities in vicinity of where you’re standing.

One of the 'Big Belly' solar compactor bins in situ in Temple Bar.
One of the 'Big Belly' solar compactor bins in situ in Temple Bar.
Image: Kyron Energy & Power Ltd via BigBellySolar.ie

AN IDEA TO have solar-powered rubbish bins feed information to smartphones is being explored for the Temple Bar area of Dublin.

Dermot McLaughlin, CEO of the Temple Bar Cultural Trust, told TheJournal.ie that the trust is looking into expanding the technology on the solar-powered rubbish bins that are currently in place around the Dublin city centre area.

The ideal, he says, would be to have the bins ‘connect’ with any passing smartphones, alerting them to the presence of free wi-fi in the area. The alert would also bring up a homescreen which would indicate activities and events of interest in the immediate vicinity.

McLaughlin said that the bins are currently already making labour-efficiencies in the area. “We didn’t think that the old traditional bin was up to the job – it takes more management and maintenance. These solar-powered bins compress the waste and they let you know when they need to be emptied, which is much less frequently because of the compression.”

The next stage, he said, was to further harness the technology of the bins and that the trust is speaking to developers and installers on how the alert system might work. The bins already send through the message that they are ready for emptying through a wireless monitoring system.

As well as listing events in the area – “for example, you might get the message that a special exhibition is happening in a gallery across the road from where you are standing” – the smartphone hook-up could also represent an advertising opportunity to offset the cost of installing the bins and provision of free wi-fi. There is also the possibility of display advertising on the actual bin units.

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The bins – known as ‘Big Belly’ solar compactors – are supplied by a Meath-based company called Kyron Energy & Power Ltd.

Earlier this week, the TBCT won an initiative award from Dublin City Council’s Neighbourhood awards for its umbrella-style canopies which have made Meeting House Square almost an all-weather venue. McLaughlin said that around 50 events were held in the square so far this year, which couldn’t have been held previously because of weather-related restrictions.

Read: Temple Bar’s giant ‘umbrellas’ win award>

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