Smart trash cans in NY expanding Wi-Fi hotspots


Some of New York's public trash cans do more than just collect junk. A few hundred of them can detect when they're too stinky, when to compact the trash, and when it's time to empty them. And now they are also about to expand their Wi-Fi hotspot program.

Waste management company Bigbelly equipped two of its smart bins with wireless internet in downtown Manhattan last winter, providing 50 to 75 megabits per second. That's fast enough to download an HD movie in nine minutes, or upload 200 photos in about 27 seconds.

The company now wants to turn more of its several hundred garbage and recycling bins in New York City into Wi-Fi hotspots. Bigbelly is applying for a grant from the Mayor's Office to install the Wi-Fi garbage cans in underserved neighborhoods. The company also plans to conduct more pilot tests this year, and fully deploy units in the fall if they get Board approval.

The city is also replacing payphones with free charging stations and other smart perks.