Corp Comm Connects

Vaughan pilots garbage bin sensors to combat litter
Aug. 12, 2021

The City of Vaughan’s public works department is currently testing garbage bin sensors to reduce overflowing waste bins that often lead to litter on streets and in parks.

Garbage bin sensors have been placed under the lids of select waste bins in Wards 4 and 5, 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 means fewer trucks out driving, which translates to fewer carbon emissions, less noise, less traffic and less wear and tear on roads.

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.

On the facility management end, concerns around sanitation, sustainability and efficiency are prompting the adoption of new technologies in the industry overall. Tasked with eliminating garbage from facilities, waste equipment services are increasingly using digital technology to reduce the volume of physical waste and help make facilities management operations more sustainable.