At heavily frequented locations the garbage cans were always full to overflowing and trash accumulated on the sidewalk, whereas elsewhere they were almost unused when the truck came round to empty them. Amsterdam urgently needed a clean solution for its city-center garbage problem. The aim was to empty and clean all garbage cans and a number of public toilets reliably and cost-effectively. The specification when the project was put out to tender was that garbage cans were as precisely as possible to be emptied when they were two thirds full and the cleaning schedules were to be adapted to actual requirements. The city now has a sophisticated emptying and cleaning schedule. An M2M solution developed by Telekom partner WSS Infocard BV shows in detail which container and which facility is to be cleaned or serviced and when.
Connected garbage cans reveal themselves
To implement the WSS solution, the 2,000 or so garbage cans and a number of public toilets in downtown Amsterdam were first equipped with an RFID chip. The next step was to register each of them in the management software. Municipal employees access the application via a simple Web interface because the system runs on WSS servers. That is an advantage for the municipal administration because its existing IT architecture is not involved. Each street cleaning team now has a handheld device, and before they start cleaning a member of the team scans the RFID chip and records the exact condition of the container or the public along with all of the work that the cleaning team has carried out. This data is relayed straight to the WSS servers via the mobile network and the municipal administration has a real-time overview of how clean the city is.