These new bins on Orchard Road let you connect to their Wi-Fi networks

When it comes to cleanliness, we’re probably mentioned in most of the top lists that exist today. But Singapore being Singapore, the government probably won’t stop launching new green initiatives until we’re numero uno. The next time you walk down Orchard Road, take a closer look at the bins—not only do they look different from the usual ones, they even provide Wi-Fi.

These solar-powered “smart” bins by waste and recycling management company Bigbelly aren’t exactly new; they’ve already made appearances in places like Changi Airport, Botanic Gardens and various Jurong Town Corporation properties. Now, 10 of them line the stretch between Wisma Atria and Mandarin Gallery, as part of a three-month pilot. Each one of them comes with a compactor that can crush rubbish to give it at least eight times the capacity as compared to normal bins. Once they’re full, the sensors will detect it and notify the cleaners via email or text. If the pilot becomes a success, we might never see dustbins filled to the brim again.

You can also connect to the bins’ Wi-Fi network through your Facebook or Weibo accounts for 15 minutes at a time (however they’re only available between 11am-9pm). Each one covers a radius of 30 meters and boasts surfing speeds between 10Mbps to 20Mbps, which is muc hfaster than the usual Wireless@SG (5Mbps). However, we’re staying cautiously enthusiastic about this new development. 

It’ll be funny to see a bunch of people in town crowding around a bin just to tap on the Wi-Fi network. It really puts the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, into perspective.