Singapore, you can now get free Wi-Fi from public bins along Orchard Road

Yes, you read that correctly, rubbish bins

10 “smart” bins currently line the 500m outdoor pedestrian walkway between Wisma Atria and Mandarin Gallery.

What makes a bin “smart” you ask? Well for starters, these solar-powered Bigbelly bins have sensors that detect when they’re almost full, and will send a notification to the cellphones of cleaners.

The bins are also fitted with a compactor that crushes rubbish, increasing their capacity to eight times more than that of a normal bin.

But perhaps most intriguingly, the Bigbelly bins are standalone Wi-Fi hubs with a coverage of 30m, and their own network provided by StarHub. The free Wi-Fi is available from 11am to 9pm daily, and you can log in to the network using your FaceBook or Weibo account for free surfing at 15 minute blocks per login.

The bins are the brainchild of technology firm Terra Sol, and they’re currently undergoing a three-month pilot trial in collaboration with the Orchard Road Business Association.

While each 125-litre Bigbelly bin costs around S$3000, because they only need to be cleared once a day as opposed five to seven times with normal bins, they ultimately help to reduce labour costs and also improve the environment by reducing litter left on the ground due to full bins.

They also act as a way for retailers to promote their brands, with advertisements from shops located close by periodically popping up on the mobile devices of anyone logged in to the Wi-Fi network.

Looks like smokers won’t be the only ones hanging out near bins anymore. 

[Source: Straits Times]