In Lisbon, the waste containers will have sensors to alert when full

Published by | Mar 25th, 2019

More technology, more cleaning ”, says the municipality of Lisbon. The Portuguese capital is installing smart sensors in several waste containers around the city, and it is expected that this network will soon have at least 2,600 units.

The municipality of Lisbon is placing volumetric reading sensors in several underground and surface waste containers, which, according to the municipality, will “make more efficient the waste collection and resource management”. These sensors are already available in the 750 underground containers (eco-islands) that were recently installed in the Portuguese capital, as well as in more than 730 surface waste containers. The aim of the municipality is that, in the future, there will be at least 2600 sensors installed in the city’s containers.

With the application of this technology, it is possible to manage these waste containers in real time and through a web platform. It will be possible to check and monitor the filling level of the waste containers and, in this way, adapt the waste collection circuits. “The city will benefit with the implementation of this integrated and innovative solution through a better functioning of the Urban Cleaning services, a faster response to problems, a better cleaning”, says the municipality.

This measure is included in the Waste Management Plan of the Municipality of Lisbon for 2015-2020, which envisages the introduction of new technologies in the waste collection system. According to the Plan, it is expected that the information collected from these smart waste containers will be available to the citizen, giving them “access to waste filling rates and estimates of the waste collected amount per person and, thus, stimulating best practices of separation. Later on, the quantities and quality of the disposal waste will be registered, allowing the application of a bonus resulted from the positive environmental behavior. This measure will be articulated with the PAYT system to be implemented in the city ”.

In addition, the installation of smart sensors in the waste containers is part of the strategic objective of expanding the network of waste reception centers and the development of a second support network, to complement the door-to-door collection. In this network, it is planned to install more underground waste containers, which can help the city to respond more efficiently to waste generation peaks, such as strikes, holidays or festive seasons, filling both the lack of space for waste containers in many of the  buildings and the increase of the waste generated volume by the largest number of tourists visiting the capital (the municipality estimates that it has exceeded 10% between 2015-2018).

At the beginning of this year, the Mayor of Lisbon, Fernando Medina, presented a set of measures to improve the Urban Cleaning service of the city and the general guidelines of the new regulation for municipal waste in the city, which was subjected to public consultation until 8 March. Among the presented measures, was highlited the transfer of 10 million euros to the parish councils (this varies according to the tourist pressure to which each parish council is subject) to help with the needs resulting from urban cleaning services.