ultime news

Smart Bin

Smart bin helps cities to become more sustainable

The Smart bin can understand its filling level, frequency and time of use through a constant scan performed by a sensor that sends data to a back-end software, via low-cost wireless network. The bin sends three signals related to its filling status (empty, half full or completely full) or in case of occlusion (occluded or not occluded).

The informations provided allow to optimize the waste collection process, reducing the use of resources and also contributing to improving the quality of the service, guaranteeing a timely intervention for critical situations; thus avoiding the manifestation of situations with accumulation of waste on the container.

The solution is based on particularly energy-efficient technologies that allow the smart bin to operate for years, without having to connect it to the power grid, thanks to long-life batteries and optimized control software.

How does it work

The modem used for this application is a RN2483 which integrates a Lora radio that permits to cover a distance up to 15 km thus eliminating the cost of additional repeaters. Its low power capability enables a battery life greater than 10 years. It also offers the possibility to connect millions of wireless sensor nodes to LoRa gateways and IoT-connected Cloud Servers. The module’s strengths are: scalability, flexibility, robust communication and the ability to operate in harsh outdoor environments. It’s suitable for low-speed wireless data transmission, monitoring and control of projects.

Sensing technology

The sensing technology uses an innovative and patented approach (EP2516974 – EP2721377 AMSA and Cefriel) based on the variation of the electrical capacity between the plates of a level of sensing in the presence of waste.

The electronics that resides in the box stimulates the plates and performs the measurement. An algorithm allows defining the full / empty state starting from the measurement. The plug condition is detected by two auxiliary optical sensors.

The data is sent from the container to the Data Collection and Processing Center via the LoRaWAN network.

With two levels of plates we can detect three fundamental states of the container:




The plug condition is detected, in the presence of light, by an additional sensor and is not related to the filling level.

Two status conditions are obtained from the relative sensor:



LoRaWAN Network

Long Range: wide coverage, throughout the urban area, one gateway has a coverage range of 5km in urban areas and 10km in extra urban areas.
– Low Power: the sensor batteries can last for up to 10 years without requiring con nection to the electricity grid.
– High Capacity: supports millions of messages for every monitoring station/sensor.
– Geolocation: enables the support of the geo-location service without GPS and without additional battery consumption.
– Standardized: the LoRaWAN network ensures interoperability between applications, IoT service providers, and telecommunications service providers.
– Security: the LoRa standard ensures privacy and data protection via a data encryption system (Embedded end-to-end AES-128 encryption).
– Low Cost: low cost solution, the infrastructure and nodes have low maintenance costs and are low in energy consumption.


Smart bin is born from the collaboration between:

A2A group company which deals with providing integrated and networked digital services to meet the needs of citizens.
The development strategy is based on the new generation optic fiber network and on the offer of the technological infrastructure that enables Smart services.

The LoRa network doesn’t need WIFI or SIM card because it’s based on sensors that transmit small amounts of data (a few tens of kilobits per second) on radio frequencies at a distance of tens of kilometers, up to 70 kilometers in open environments, figure that falls if there are buildings. Because data traffic is limited, batteries can last for many years.

LoRa technology is based on microchips owned by Semtech but the French company allows anyone to build vertical networks, devices and services based on the LoRaWAN protocol. This offers great potential for adoption in every area. Just buy a sensor and connect to a public or private network paying a fee, ranging from $ 1 to $ 8 a year. LoRaWAN operates on free low frequencies.

Company that produces semiconductors and mainly microcontrollers with mixed, analog and Flash-IP signals that allow the development of low-risk products, with low costs and rapid placing on the market for customers all over the world



A2A group company that manages the collection and disposal of municipal waste in the City of Milan and in thirteen municipalities of the Milanese Metropolitan Area. Amsa has tested and patented the solution, in collaboration with Cefriel, with the positioning of some bin prototypes in 2011, on which the subsequent engineering and industrialization of the product was then based. The data transmitted by the bins and processed by the data collection and processing software, allow Amsa to optimize the execution and planning of the routes, sending the workers only where necessary and guaranteeing priority intervention to the most critical situations.

A subsidiary company of the Polytechnic of Milan specialized in digital innovation projects that aims to promote product, service and process innovation through a multidisciplinary approach that combines strategy, design and digital technologies. It’s a Digital Innovation and Design Shop, based in Milan and with offices in New York and London. Engaged in areas such as API ecosystems, Internet of Things (IoT), information security, data analysis and visualization, Industry 4.0 and Blockchain.

More informations?