Corp Comm Connects

Leveraging innovative technology to combat litter
Aug. 12, 2021

Many citizens are enjoying the summer weather in City of Vaughan parks. But more people in parks means more chance of litter. To combat this, the City’s Public Works department has leveraged a new technological approach to help keep the community clean, safe and beautiful. Introducing garbage bin sensors -- a new pilot project, currently testing in Wards 4 and 5.

Garbage bin sensors are placed under the lids of select waste bins allowing Parks staff to monitor the fill-levels remotely and receive notifications when they need to be emptied.

The sensors use real-time and historical data to optimize waste collection schedules along routes, allowing staff to save on fuel, labour and fleet maintenance. The route optimization within this tool also allows for fewer trucks out driving, which means fewer carbon emissions, less noise, less traffic and less wear and tear on roads. Even more, they help to reduce overflowing waste bins, which often leads to litter on streets and in parks.

The garbage bin sensors are currently located in the following areas: Concord Thornhill Regional Park (off-leash dog park), Marita Payne Park, Riviera Park, Glen Shields Avenue, Bob O'Link Avenue, Peach Tree Place, New Seabury Drive, Oakmount Crescent, Southview Park, the Le Jardin walkway to Southview Park, West Crossroads and East Crossroads Park, Langstaff Eco Park, LeParc Park, Sherwood Park, Tudor Park, Agostino Park, Derrywood Drive and Belwood Boulevard, Alexander Park, Forest Run Boulevard, the southwest corner of Bathurst Street and Worth Boulevard, the Sugarbush trail entrance, and Lakehurst Park.

The garbage bin sensor pilot project is a branch of the City’s Quick Response (QR) Code pilot project, launched in September 2020. It allows residents to scan the code found on a City waste bin using their smartphone to notify City staff when it is full and needs to be emptied. The program resulted in quicker service to bins that required emptying, which reduced litter in parks. This project continues in select parks.