Rise of the machines

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© Wikimedia
Smart bins: Scenes such as this could become commonplace in the future.

AS Britpop heroes Blur once sang, Modern Life Is Rubbish, and the City of Marbella appears to concur, with the introduction of state-of-the-art sensors and SIM cards to municipal garbage trucks and bins from Monday May 2.

The futuristic development has been made possible thanks to the recently-announced agreement with mobile phone giants Vodafone, who will pump €12,500 into innovative technologies in the city over the next five years.

The idea is to transform Marbella into a ‘smart city’, and this first move is designed to “permit an exhaustive control over filling, thereby improving collection,” as the British multinational installs its Machine-to-Machine (M2M) technology, allowing each bin to send a daily report and inform collectors when it is full.

The system has been used successfully in other European locations, and in the Netherlands bins in Groningen have been fitted with unique key cards allowing the council to monitor who is using the facilities and bill accordingly, with discounts for those who recycle.

Within this initial phase, the Town Planning department and other important buildings in the city are also to have a new 3G system installed, which will enable optimised consumption and efficiency of electronic devices.

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