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Aberdeen streets to get Wi-Fi bins powered by solar

Nov. 30, 2012 - Julia Chan-

    The Big Belly bins are powered by solar energy and provide Wi-Fi hotspots for visitors to the city of Aberdeen. Image: Aberdeen Inspired.


    From 2013, solar-powered litter bins offering wireless internet will be placed on the streets around the city of Aberdeen in Scotland.

    The £246,500 Big Belly bins project is being funded by the Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeen Inspired, which represents the city’s Business Improvement District.

    The Big Belly bins will be fitted with a BP solar panel which has a 20-year warranty. Electricity generated from the solar panel powers a 12v battery. The bins are also fitted with an electronic device that has the ability to notify authorities when the bin is full. This same device is also able to provide wireless internet free of charge for visitors to the city. Visitors will be able to connect to the Wi-Fi hotspots to access up-to-date city guides and receive information on the latest deals in local shops and restaurants.

    The bins have also been designed with waste compactors which crush the items in the bin to create more space, resulting in the bins being emptied less often compared with standard bins.

    Following a successful trial, the full roll-out of 60 bins is expected to be completed by next spring.

    Susan Bree, CEO 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.”