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17 Dwarves Of Snow White

Denne idé er en del af VIA INO21 Challenge 4: Tech-Innovation - Smart Solutions For Waste Management In Public Spaces

2. februar 2021


During our research we have discovered multiple problems that exist with the current trash cans that are placed in public spaces:

  • Overflowing trash cans
  • Unhygienic to use
  • Trash is not sorted
  • Trash cans are hard to find


Overflowing trash cans

Our solution to this problem is to act predictive instead of reactive. By predicting when the trash cans would get filled, the trash cans would only be emptied when needed.


For this solution, the trash can would need to have one or more sensors to determine the amount of trash present in the bin. This solution consists of a distance sensor in the top, which would calculate the distance downwards, meaning that the distance will decrease as the trash can gets filled.


This data would be collected, and along with identification of the trash can, time and date, and other data that can be acquired such as weather data or traffic data, and fed into an artificial neural network (Machine Learning/AI), which will learn to predict when the bins will get filled.


This in turn will prevent the bins from getting overflown. However, one problem that will be present initially is that it will take time for the AI to learn to predict correctly, and as a result the trash cans will have to be left to get full and collected only when they are full. This however can be alleviated by simulating the trash cans in software before deployment. While this won’t give perfect accuracy, it will set a good base.


The trash cans will also need other modules:

  • Networking module, to connect to the cloud
  • Location module, to get trash can’s location


Each trash can will be identified by an unique identifier based on the hardware, and as such the trash cans will only need to be powered on, since using this identifier and location, it can be added automatically to the system at its location.


Unhygienic to use

Another problem that we have discovered is that some people do not want to open the bin with their hands, since it is unhygienic, and in these Covid times undesirable.


The solution consists of having a lever/pedal on the bottom of the bins, so people can open the bins with their foot instead of the hand.


However, since people in Denmark are used to opening the bins with their hands, multiple design choices would have to be made:

  • Highlight the pedal with a different color to make it visible
  • Design the lid with/without a place for the hand, which would in turn suggest how the trash bin can be used

Trash is not sorted

In our survey we asked what people think about sorting and recycling, and the sentiment is positive towards these things. As a result, we believe the trash can should allow for sorting, which in turn will make recycling easier.


This means that the trash bin would actually consist of 3 trash bins combined, each with their own sensors and lever, and symbols for the different types of trash on the exterior.


This would also mean that trash won’t have to be collected as often, since the trash would pile up in one compartment slower.

Trash cans are hard to find

Some people might find trash cans difficult to find, and in our survey we have found that people throw trash on the ground because they cannot find a trash bin nearby, yet in our interview with Anders from Ren By Aarhus we have discovered that there are a lot of trash bins placed in the city.


This makes us believe that the trash cans are either not visible (especially at night), or our brains are starting to ignore them, similar to banner blindness (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banner_blindness).


Our solution to this is to make them more visible, by having lights on the outside so that they are more visible at night, and attract attention during the day.


The lights don’t have to be obnoxiously bright, but just enough to be visible.


Presentation for feedback group 17:



This was made by group 17:

Maria Magdalena Michail 293100

Paul-Andrei Bujor 293176

Dumitrus Bugus 293114

Roksana Oliwia Dziadowich 293105

Julia Tankiewicz 293719

Wojciech Mielczarek 293140


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