The Future (and Present) of Mobile Rubbish Collection

1 February 2018
 Categories: , Blog


It's interesting how once seemingly space age technology has become a part of daily life. Video calls are commonplace now, and yet once it was the stuff of Star Trek. You might have a robot vacuum cleaner, or even a robot lawn mower—technology that takes over your household tasks while you put your feet up. This type of robotic cleaning and maintenance will perhaps become even more widespread when the technology progresses to the point of the devices being able to empty themselves, dumping their dirt, dust, and grass straight into the rubbish bin. But potential mobile automation doesn't quite end there… or at least, it perhaps soon won't. There are a number of highly advanced mobile rubbish collection methods that might become a familiar sight before too long. Although in terms of mobility, sometimes a low-tech approach is the best way to go (for now, anyway).

Kerbside Rubbish Collection

You know the process. On whatever day has been allotted for your suburb, you wheel your bins to the side of the street, where a rubbish truck picks them up. This has been the case for generations. While the general principle will remain the same, the device collecting them might change in the future. A drone-guided rubbish collection system has been trialled. The rubbish truck still has a driver, but the actual bins are collected by robots which zip from house to house, collecting the bins and transporting them to the truck. The positions of the bins is determined by a drone which launches from the truck, guiding the robots into position. It's simply a more automated approach than the current system, and perhaps one day robots will be your binmen.

Rubbish Collection in Public Places

Another trial involves mobile robotic rubbish bins. The idea is that people generally litter in public places when they can't find a rubbish bin, and so these rubbish bins roam around a given area. You signal the bin with your arm, and it comes to you. A more advanced version of these bins will scan the ground while on the move, allowing it to report any ground-based rubbish to cleaning staff (who are still human!).

Skip Bins

A skip bin is the most efficient method of rubbish removal at home when you have a large quantity of refuse that needs to go. While this process is not going to be automated anytime soon, a degree of mobility is still possible, albeit in a low-tech fashion. Sometimes the fixed, heavy nature of a skip bin can make it less versatile. A mobile skip bin doesn't have this problem, and is one of the most convenient mobile rubbish removal solutions around. It's towed behind the truck, and the simple fact that it has wheels gives it an added degree of versatility. It can be maneuvered into tight spots, and even backed into your garage for added security. It's a low-tech though highly effective approach to mobile rubbish collection, and who knows? Maybe in a few years it will be delivered and collected by robots…

There are fascinating possibilities for automation in the field of mobile rubbish collection, although in terms of mobility sometimes a simple, non-robotic approach is best!