Vodafone connects bin lorries, intros smart waste collection in Athens
With input from Vodafone, the Greek capital Athens has turned the default smart waste management application on its head by issuing alerts to locals when garbarge lorries are in the vicinity. This runs counter to the conventional smart waste application, which tends to put sensors on bins, to alert refuse collectors when the garbage needs emptying.
The move comes as the city has been buoyed by a €28 million investment programme, called Athens Trigono, to upgrade and improve infrastructure around its commercial centre, an area bordered by three large public squares, which form a so-called ‘Commercial Triangle’ containing a maze of small streets and small retailers.
Under the Athens Trigono plan, with funding also from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, making grants in the areas of education, social welfare, health, and culture, the city has set about pedestrianising much of this commercial centre, and redesigning policing and cleaning services.
Vodafone Innovus, an IoT subsidiary of Vodafone Greece, itself a member of the Digital Council of Athens, has helped with the issue of how to manage the rubbish generated by businesses in the area. “Rubbish bins left on the street are an unattractive sight in any city, but are arguably worse in hot countries where any food waste will quickly start to decompose and smell,” it said.
Vodafone has developed a ‘smart waste collection’ service for businesses and residents, which equips bin lorries serving the area (rather than bins) with sensors that can identify and contact businesses when they are passing using a geofence. Residents and shopkeepers receive a text message when the lorries pass, and can carry their rubbish straight out to meet the refuse collector, said Vodafone.
Haris Broumidis, chairman andchief executive of Vodafone Greece, said: “We have laid the foundations of a smart city, by equipping the municipality with state-of-the-art technologies that will make the everyday life of professionals and citizenseasier and give value to the city’s services. We strategically invest in IoT, since we believe it is a technology that will change people’s lives, cities’ daily routine, and businesses’ operation for the better.”
Giorgos Kaminis, member of the Greek parliament, and until recently mayor of Athens, commented: “The upgrading of the Commercial Triangle is a wager for our municipal authority and for me personally. It reflects…the new participatory governance model that we have chosen to implement in the city. Not on our own, but along with every citizen.
“Together with the area’s shopkeepers, with whom we are in constant dialogue; together with trusted partners, such as Vodafone Greece, we have cooperated through the Digital Council and offer new, innovative services to the city; together with the area’s residents and visitors, as our concern is to make the city centre a destination for promenade and recreation.”
Kaminis said: “The smart waste collection, with new urban equipment, pedestrian areas, modern lighting and rules in public space management, are transforming the Athens Commercial Triangle into what must be a modern metropolitan centre. And it is an example of how a modern capital, such as Athens, can operate in a cooperative and efficient manner.”