NYC “Smart” Trash Cans Might Host WiFi Networks Soon


Internet connectivity is one of the most necessary aspects of modern life, so why not have WiFi-enabled garbage cans? (That’s totally where you thought this was going, right?)

Massachusetts-based company Big Belly, an innovator in the field of waste-management, has already pioneered the field of solar-powered garbage cans in NYC. Big Belly’s cans can be found internationally, and they’ve helped alleviate garbage build-up in various cities around the world. As per the company’s website:

Using energy collected by solar panels, the Bigbelly compacts litter up to 150 gallons of capacity, compared with the un-compacted 35 gallons a traditional can holds.

However, Big Belly doesn’t think the highly efficient garbage cans are doing all they can really do. City Lab reports that the company has partnered with New York’s Downtown Alliance, and has already turned two of downtown Manhattan’s 170 “smart” cans into WiFi-ready hotspots.

The connectivity works apparently, and Big Belly plans to rollout the program with the help of outside funding in the form of grants and other sponsorships.

All of this fits into New York’s already robust WiFi system. The city is one of the best places to dip into a free network, and even if you’re a visitor, you can count on the city tourist office to provide a map of accessible networks.  An assortment of subway stations are also linked up to networks too.

So even if you’re underground, or standing next to a trash can, there’s really no way to escape the inexorable hold of the Internet. But who would want to? Not us.

Follow Sam Blum on Twitter @Blumnessmonster 



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