Sunderland could get 'smart bins' following a £60m upgrade of the city’s broadband infrastructure

‘Smart bins’ could be among the innovations rolled out in Sunderland following a £60 million upgrade of the city’s broadband infrastructure.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 6:21 pm
‘Smart bins’ could be among the innovations rolled out in Sunderland following a £60 million upgrade of the city’s broadband infrastructure.

A deal agreed between Wearside bosses and CityFibre, a provider, earlier this year (January) is expected to provide fast internet speeds for 90 per cent of properties and premises.

And more efficient bin collections is just one area in which the new technology could be adapted for everyday life, with devices advanced enough to be incorporated into existing equipment.

“Sensors are very small devices and can absolutely be retrofitted into a whole range of equipment,” said Liz St Louis, assistant director of smart cities at Sunderland City Council.

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“We’re seeing some good examples up and down the country, whether that’s a public bin, or whether it’s a commercial bin.

“Or whether in fact it’s used for something like gritting, where sensors can be put in grit bins so we understand the levels of grit in a bin and only have to go out and fill those up when we know they’re low.”

St Louis was speaking at last week’s (Thursday, April 15) meeting of the city council’s Scrutiny Coordinating Committee, which was held by videolink and broadcast via YouTube.

In June (2020), Richmond Council, in London, announced it was replacing conventional bins in some of its busiest parks with solar-powered sensors which could alert bosses in real time when they needed to be emptied.

It is hoped the so-called ‘internet of things’ technology enabled by faster internet speeds in Sunderland could also allow better monitoring of vulnerable people, as well as traffic and congestion.