The Internet of Things event IoT Solutions World Congress, held as part of Barcelona Industry Week (from 16 to 18 October), would seem the most logical opportunity to test the use of smart bins at the Gran Via site of Fira de Barcelona.

There were 24 bins in all, arranged in eight groups of three, equipped with wifi-enabled sensors that could report the volume of accumulated waste to a data centre, along with the type in question (paper, plastic and other waste).

It was a fascinating experience for the Fira managers who could detect the need to empty the bins as they were filled up and this information could be compared against the forecasts made when contracting the collection service.

In practical terms, the signal sent to the centre could direct the workers responsible for emptying the bins to vary their route in real time to visit the bins where the most waste was building up.

On the other hand, analysis of the different types of waste collected can guide future planning about which type of bin, for paper, plastic or other waste, would require more backup.

This pilot project would also indicate whether the bins were correctly located (in corridors, common spaces, rooms…) or whether a new category, such as outside spaces, should be added.

Even an object as apparently humble as a smart bin has a role to play in improving the experience of visitors and exhibitors and enhancing the image of the IoT Solutions World Congress or the other salons and events hosted by Fira.