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Solar-powered recycling bins

At present, a communal recycling bin is a closed unit, in more ways than one. However, if it were able to collect and transmit information about how full the bin was, about who deposited what and how much, about whether it had been moved from its original location, and so on, this could dramatically streamline the service.
If, for example, a waste collection vehicle knows that a communal recycling bin on its scheduled route is not full, it will not stop to empty it.

To obtain this information, the bin has to be equipped with new mechanical and electronic devices, which, of course, require electricity to power them.

To avoid using batteries, which are particularly expensive, we are studying systems for on-board electricity generation: using energy harvesting techniques, for example, it is possible to generate electricity by harnessing the forces that are generated in some parts of the containers when they are emptied/moved/operated by machine, or simply when waste is deposited inside, which normally involves the physical opening and closing of the lid or other parts of the container.

In 2011, in association with the Environmental Services Unit, an initiative was launched to develop and implement a prototype that measures the potential energy output and efficiency of various energy harvesting techniques. A PCT patent has been filed in order to protect the intellectual property of any future applications.

2017 Economic results - Comments of the President
Risultati economici 2017 - Il commento del Presidente del Gruppo Hera