Smart Bins

Waste collection is a major challenge for cities which have to deliver service to their inhabitants. This includes easy access to waste disposal and recycling in every part of the city and preventing and mitigating environmental pollution. New technological advancements under the name of “Smart solutions” both in hardware and software have shown promising applications for the waste management sector.

The project proposes to assess the benefits of smart solutions in regard to waste collection in cities. It will consider waste generation patterns in time and space and the qualities and quantities of waste collected. In addition, a stakeholder analysis will be conducted to find the best routes to implementation.

The Smart Bins project will combine technology and community engagement through technological applications. Waste collection will be kept in synergy with other city services such as public transport, urban planning, etc.


In year 2018, the city of Reykjavík implemented a pilot with a new type of street bin which are able to receive more waste with a similar footprint and can collect data via sensors and send information to a data platform. The project platform is based on results from the smart bins tests conducted with the Big Belly solutions in Reykjavík (

At Icelandic level, Reykjavík is a pioneer regarding smart solutions for waste management. Reykjavík has already engaged an overall strategy to modernize its waste management system. Usually, the interface between citizens and waste collection is a bin or a container. All cities have a developed network of waste bins that can handle either mixed waste or source-separated waste for recycling. However, focusing on bins/containers is insufficient in order to develop a fully integrated value chain. It is essential that solutions should be found on every steps of the value chain, including citizens, city staff, city managers, waste collectors, etc.

The Smart Waste project will be carried with input from the other cities of the NSCN. Experiences will be gathered with direct contact with the persons responsible in each respective city in order to make sure that results of the project are the most relevant to answer needs for the cities.