10cent - Internet of Trash

Make the council bins in the Adelaide City smart in order to encourage recycling, track waste and let the disadvantaged track down valuables

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This project brings the wheelie bin to the internet. The internet is a full of digital trash, we are bringing the physical trash to the internet.

Working together, using tech to improve social situations. Recycle for the #WIN!

This project connects people through the importance of recycling with social responsibility.


Driving to the Adelaide IoT hackathon I saw a woman going though the bin looking for bottles to recycle for cash. In Adelaide there is a 10 cent bounty on bottles. Our thoughts are to use technology to alleviate some of the issues surrounding this, namely:

  • Recycling Entrepreneurs - Tell them where the bottles are at making their business more profitable
  • General Public - Increased motivation to recycle understanding that their efforts help the Recycling Entrepreneurs
  • Government - Improved recycling efforts through simple installation of a sensor pack and help urban planning

In more detail:

  • Recyclers not finding bottles to recycle, lets improve their find rate!
  • The importance of recycling, how can we improve the amount recycled?
  • Improve the efficiency of rubbish collection.
  • Improve the connection to other people, understand that you help people by placing the bottles in the correct location for collection.
  • Potentially help recycle industry identify new opportunities in residential areas.


An easy to attach sensor pack connected to a bin to detect the valuable bottle commodity. Once enough bottles are detected a simple light to indicate that the bin is ripe for harvesting allows people to know there is enough bounty available.

Stretch goals:

An internet connection will allow trends to be identified, answering the important questions of:

  • Which bins return the most cans?
  • What time of day are entrepreneurs most active?
  • When is the optimal time to empty the trash (traveling salesman model)?
  • Is there need for more bins and where?

  • 1 × Raspberry Pi (prototyping) Used to control the system
  • 1 × PIR sensor For detection of the bottles
  • 1 × Designer cover plate Shows people where to insert bottles for social good
  • 1 × LED indicator Show the amount of cash recoverable from this bottle bank

  • RGB-LCD display and camera

    Tisham Dhar04/25/2016 at 09:08 0 comments

    The Grove LCD display is hooked up to the RPi grove adapter and a 640x480 pixel cheap camera is attached to one of the USB ports. Images are captured via opencv and sent to the Microsoft Computer Vision API for captioning. The results are then displayed on the LCD. The RGB lcd can change colour to reflect gross value/weight as well as display thank you meaasages to people dropping recyclables and total value to people collecting them.

    The code for getting the caption from the microsoft AI and displaying them on the LED is available here.

  • Testing the weight sensor

    John Missikos04/23/2016 at 03:58 0 comments

    Proving out the capacitance sensor.

    Quick test with bricks we can see we get a relative capacitance. The sensor cuts down on the costs normally seen with load cells. We can reduce this further later.

  • Examples of motivating recycling

    John Missikos04/23/2016 at 03:51 0 comments

    This is a great example by VW of how making things fun makes them work better. We present, the worlds deepest bin:

    Thoughts of adding sound effects to show appreciation when bottles are added are coming into the fold.

  • Bringing it together

    John Missikos04/23/2016 at 03:46 0 comments

    A quick snap to understand what is going on.

  • Getting the parts together

    John Missikos04/23/2016 at 03:43 0 comments

    Getting the parts together:

    Here we see the PIR sensor for the bottles connected to the GROVE Pi Shield. Additionally the TI capacitance sensor is a low cost implementation of detecting the weight of the bin.

    Below is the start of the capacitance weight sensor.

  • The Concept

    John Missikos04/23/2016 at 03:32 0 comments

    The concept:

    Normal bin converted into an awesome socially useful bin.

    With the addition of a simple plate on top and some electronics we can improve quality of life.

    The plate over the top now shows a slot for bottles. Just below this is a PIR sensor to detect bottles inserted. A light on top indicates how many bottles have been inserted. When the bin is opened the counter resets.

    Extending this further is the cheap implementation of a weight sensor at the bottom. This allows data to be collected to see when the optimum time of rubbish collection is approaching.

    Low powered internet connection is used to aggregate the data on a cloud server.

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