The Malta Independent 17 December 2018, Monday

800 iBiNs to replace existing skips and solve overflowing in 41 localities

Albert Galea Wednesday, 21 November 2018, 13:27 Last update: about 25 days ago

800 iBiNs will be replacing the existing recycling skips in 41 localities, Greenpak and Vodafone Malta said in a press conference announcing this new joint initiative.

The aim of the iBiN is to make recycling simpler and more convenient, and to also make the overflowing of recycling bins a thing of the past.  The iBiNs are a new joint initiative by Greenpak and Vodafone, and constitute a technological solution to the waste problem that Malta is experiencing.

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The bins will be able to identify in real time how full they are, and when they are full a signal will be sent to a central data centre advising that the bin has to be emptied.  The signal will also be available for the general public to see through an app, wherein people will also be able to find the closest bin to their location.  Furthermore, the bin can detect its temperature and in the case of a fire a special signal is sent to call for emergency services to extinguish the blaze.

It is hoped that all 800 iBiNs will be wheeled out across Malta and Gozo by March 2019.  The project cost is a total of €600,000 and is partially paid for by the European Regional Development Fund.

Several government dignitaries were present, with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat flanked by Ministers Owen Bonnici and Jose Herrera, and Parliamentary Secretaries Silvio Schembri, Silvio Parnis and Deo Debattista at the event.

Muscat said that the economic prosperity that the government had created unfortunately meant that both domestic and industrial waste is on the increase.  He said that Malta has ignored the waste management sector for much too long, but said initiatives such as these showed that the government was making a cultural shift when it came to waste and seeing it not as a problem, but as a challenge wherein the private sector can contribute as well.

The iBiN project is the perfect example of how emerging technology can be harnessed to revolutionise the daily lives of everyone, and noted that it was only the first such technology which was going to be used within the waste management sector.

Muscat said that work was ongoing on the Beverage Container Refund scheme which is seeking to address 200 million beverage containers disposed of annually in Malta and Gozo, whilst the application of blockchain technology into the waste management sector was also being looked into.

Speaking at the press conference, Greenpak CEO Mario Schembri said that the introduction of the iBiN was a major step forward in Malta’s waste management sector, and said that it was harnessing state of the art technology to make Malta a truly smart city.  He said that with such a system in place there was no excuse not to recycle, and said that he hoped that the system would reduce the amount of bags and hence wind-blown litter on Malta’s streets.

Vodafone Malta CEO Sonia Hernandez meanwhile said that the bins will be harnessing Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) technology, the first use of such technology in public service projects.  With such technology, Hernandez said, the possibilities were endless, adding that it is perfectly suited for the bins.  She said that the bin’s batteries will last for 10 years on a single charge, and that the technology will offer connectivity and real time data.  She hoped that such technology would push more and more people into recycling “with confidence”.

 

 

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