M2M Fact or Fiction: Self-organizing trash bins

Last updated: 25 November 2019

This is the third in a series of posts around the Gemalto M2M Fact or Fiction quiz, which pits you against a series of scenarios – real or imagined – to test how much of an M2M visionary you are. For the whole quiz, click here, and for other posts in the series – click here.

We’re not talking about robots made of trash, but of waste bins that communicate with dispatch coordination software to organize collection when bins are full. If this technology sounds eminently sensible, and possibly familiar, and you thought it was ‘fact’ you’d have thought right. In fact, we’ve written about ‘M2M Recycling’ before on this very blog, and had a demo running at Mobile World Congress 2014.

Beyond the lab, though, a company in Seoul is already working with Vodafone to ship bins with M2M sims in place – estimating a potential 20% reduction in waste collection in the city alone, with the prospect of driving a CO2 reduction through reduced fleet movement equivalent to planting 150,000 trees around the city.

The potential doesn’t end with good route and waste planning – as M2M sensors become embedded in everyday goods, from food packaging to cardboard boxes, your bin could potentially tell you if you’re putting the wrong recycling into the wrong bin (perhaps your local council service does not support the recycling of certain types of plastic). This in turn could reduce haulage and processing costs and effort at the other end.

Personally, I love this application of M2M technology – I just don’t want any backchat from the bin, judging me by my shopping choices as the packaging ends up in the recycling!

Did you get this question right in our quiz? Take it here.