Smart Bins in Dublin

Back to Smart Stories


Smart bins send emails when they are full!

big belly bins

Self compacting bins that send an email when they need to be emptied – no we are not kidding! There has been a quiet revolution going on in the leafy streets of Dun-Laoghaire Rathdown and Dublin City Council will follow shortly.


Traditional public litter bins have been known to fill and overflow quickly, especially on sunny days in seaside towns and areas such as Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown. Given the vagaries of the Irish weather system, it can be an impossible task to know when the bins outside a certain ice cream shop, or boardwalk need to be emptied.


Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Council was looking to improve the efficiency of its public waste collection service, and at the same time reduce operational costs. Through the introduction of Smart Bins, it has successfully achieved this and more.


Smart Bins are solar powered, wifi enabled bins that are being installed in towns, villages and residential areas across the country to replace traditional public litter bins.


Smart Bins Features:

  • Smart Bins come with a built-in solar compactor which gets triggered when rubbish reaches a certain level. Rubbish is compacted, which enables it to reach a whopping 800 litres of waste: 6-8 times that of a traditional bin!
  • The wifi-enabled bin is able to communicate when the waste reaches 85% capacity. The bin actually sends a text and email to the relevant waste management division informing them that it is ready for emptying.
  • Optional extra sensors can provide other info such as air quality, sound monitoring, travel times between location, and even wifi up to 25m radius!


“The challenge is to use this smart information to deliver a more efficient service and a better environment to residents i.e. cleaner streets and less annoyance due to traffic and noise of collection” Richard Shakespeare, Director of Municipal Services, DLR.


The bins provide data to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown’s waste collection service providers so they can:

  • monitor real time levels of waste in all of the smart bins in the network
  • locate and identify smart bins that needs collection
  • better plan and organise waste collection based on actual waste levels that need collection

There are currently 401 Smart Bins installed in the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County area. The project is managed by the County Council by the Environment Department with the purpose to improve the efficiency of waste management. Since 2010 the bin collection service has been transferred to Panda Waste.


Dublin City Council completed 2 smart bin pilots after consultation with the market. The results were very positive and a tender was issued at the end of 2016.  Smart bins are expected on the city streets shortly.

Latest Smart Stories

Public Building Energy Monitoring

One of the biggest challenges worldwide is climate change and the need to reduce emissions.  The EU Climate and Energy Package which came out of the Paris talks in December...

Real Time Passenger Information

Real Time Passenger Information (RTPI) has made using public transport easier. It provides valuable information for transport providers and for anyone else who wishes to use this data in their...

CiviQ – Smart Public Engagement

CiviQ is an online public consultation tool that enables all stakeholders to make responses, submissions and comments on public sector planning proposals. It delivers more transparent consultations, as well as...

Get involved

We believe that collaboration is the best approach to find innovative solutions to Dublin’s challenges. If you are working on a smart city solution and would like to test it in Dublin, we would like to hear from you.

Our Engagement Process

We would love to hear your smart city ideas.

Since our launch, we have received numerous contacts from start-ups and companies that would like to work with us. To help facilitate this we have developed a simple engagement process to help evaluate proposals and give everyone the same opportunity to engage with us.


To start with, we would like you to email us some information we can use to evaluate if your product of service is something that can be of interest for our partners. Please, don’t email a sales pitch or try to set up a meeting to do one. They simply are not useful to us.

Here is what we need:

  • Name of company and contact details
  • What area/s are you interested in collaborating?
  • What will the benefits be to the Smart Dublin partner local authorities? e.g. will your product solve a problem, increase efficiency,  enhance a current service?
  • What would be expected of the local authorities in terms of staff engagement and other resources?
  • What you would be contributing?
  • The nature of the collaboration (e.g. trialling, piloting, research and development) and how it would be implemented                        (e.g. a description/timeline of your product trial)

If you have examples from previous trials or implementations, please include them.

Please take some time to go through our website and understand Smart Dublin. It seems very intuitive but we have  received sales  pitches from companies that knew little about us or what we are trying to do.

If your main interest is not collaboration but rather you are selling a service/solution let me know please. If there is a challenge or tender for the service/solution you are offering, aligned research, or we are hosting a relevant showcase event, then we will contact you with details.

After we receive your information the Smart Dublin team will assess your proposal and call a meeting with you if needed. If the proposal is successful we will present it to the Smart Dublin Steering Group for consideration.

If the proposal is of interest it will be passed to relevant departments within the local authorities for assessment and to find champion to manage the project. We will aim to get a decision from departments within four weeks.

If the relevant departments are interested in developing a collaboration  the proposal may be passed on to the legal and other relevant departments.

Once everything is agreed, then it will progress to a recommendation for collaboration, which will be  sent to the local authority CEOs for final sign-off.

All proposals will be logged and their progress tracked by the Smart Dublin team and published in the Smart Dublin website.

Once a quarter we will host a Meet Smart Dublin event, a session where prospective collaborators can meet staff to share information, ask questions, pitch ideas, etc.  These will be advertised through the website and mailing list.

Enter Challenge

Smart Dublin is running a series of challenges where we may offer access to:

  • Seed funds
  • Access to testbed infrastructure
  • City expertises


Sign up for our mailing list to get notified about projects and events.

Smart Stories

Do you have a great smart city story or project that you would like to showcase?