Finnish startup Enevo has developed a system to optimize garbage pick-up by installing sensors in trash containers that tweet when they’re full and ready for a pick-up. This makes the entire garbage collection process more efficient, reducing the fuel, labor costs and CO2 emissions associated with unnecessary stops, and avoiding the nasty effects of spillovers from overflowing bins. Though analysts view Enevo as being in the clean-tech market, Enevo’s CEO considers the company to be in a smart city business, and he believes helping cities transform themselves into smart cities can be a lynchpin in the combat against climate change.
In another article on smart trash bins enabled by AGT and Cisco, AGT’s CEO claims that only one percent of what could be connected in cities is connected (like trash cans and parking spaces and streetlamps), but if that gap is closed, city planners can begin to understand in real-time how cities really work, achieving significant energy efficiencies and even generating new revenue, as in the case of smart parking systems.
While it is critical that city planners and those managing day-to-day city operations can glean insights from a city’s smart and connected objects, we hope they are not the only ones to benefit from these insights. We encourage cities to include these new flows of smart data in open data portals that also gives citizens the opportunity to understand how their city works. Maybe they’ll have some great ideas on how to make it work better. And it would be even better if businesses and city partners had access to this data too, so they could join the collaborative effort to develop innovative applications and services that can lead to greener cities, a greener economy and a brighter future for all.