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Warners Bay welcomes first smart bins

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Solar-powered bins, that internally crush rubbish to store five times the amount of waste as a regular bin are being installed in Lake Macquarie.

Lake Macquarie City Council waste strategy coordinator Hal Dobbins said the RAY Smart Solar Powered Compacting Bins, which are for general waste, would be a game changer when it came to beautifying areas and improving the environment.

“Not only will this be able to store more waste with a smaller footprint, but having a strong sealed hatch as a lid ensures no items will blow out into the lake,” Mr Dobbins said.

While a standard bin would hold 240 litres of waste, these can hold up to 1200 litres – the equivalent of filling more than six bathtubs.

“Smart sensors placed inside the bin alert council when the bin is around 80 per cent full, so crews will know when to empty it,” Mr Dobbins said.

“The bins also lock when they’re full, so there’s no chance of them overflowing.”

Each device contains a 60-watt solar panel which charges a battery that can run for up to four weeks with little to no sun. 

Lake Macquarie mayor Kay Fraser said the first smart solar bin would be installed along the esplanade at Warners Bay Foreshore. 

“Warners Bay is a very popular destination which is close to cafes, restaurants a large picnic area and a shared pathway, so these bins will efficiently store a large amount of waste where it’s needed,” Cr Fraser said.

“Another device will be installed at Toronto Foreshore in the coming months to reduce litter in the area which has recently become popular since the installation of a new town green and picnic area.”

“I would encourage residents to take advantage of these public bins and properly dispose of waste to prevent litter.”

If successful, more smart solar bins could be implemented at other popular locations such as Redhead Beach, Caves Beach and Belmont Baths.

The $30,000 project is funded by the NSW Government through the Waste Less, Recycle More initiative and a Community Building Partnership grant.  

Lake Macquarie mayor Kay Fraser.

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