How Sensor Data, Analytics, and AWS Make Cities Smarter

Who would have predicted the hidden insights and cost savings waiting to be uncovered in the management of our trash? Bigmate, an Internet of Things (IoT) solutions provider that turns real-time sensor data into insights, has.

Bigmate’s goal is to solve real-world problems and serve communities in unexpected ways with practical, innovative IoT solutions. While the objective is simple, the data collection is often very complex. But by working to understand all the intricacies of a business, Bigmate is able to unlock unique perspectives on issues and determine solutions that most wouldn’t dream of.

So naturally, the Brimbank City Council in Victoria, Australia turned to Bigmate to help find a way to improve trash can usage and the trash collecting process. Quickly realizing the current trash collection process was outdated and inefficient, Bigmate worked to develop a new system with IoT sensors to optimize trash pickup.

Solving the problem and saving money with IoT

Before Bigmate stepped in to help, all city trash cans in Victoria were treated alike. Each one was collected at the same frequency despite some being nearly empty and others overflowing with garbage. Usage was often dependent on weather, time of day, and time of year, but the city’s collection process didn’t account for any of these variables. Therefore, the same number of workers were deployed regardless of need, wasting time and money checking every single trash can. The appropriate level of effort simply wasn’t being applied where and when it was actually needed.

After connecting Thinxtra level sensors to Bigmate’s IoT platform using Amazon Web Services (AWS) and TIBCO Jaspersoft for the data reports, Brimbank could easily monitor and track trash can levels. This allowed drivers to optimize the collection process, focusing on heavy traffic areas and altering routes based on activity trends in the data. By streamlining operations and taking actions based on the sensor data, Brimbank was able to better distribute its resources, saving a significant amount of time and money.

These sensors also keep an eye on the temperatures of the trash cans, notifying emergency services when heat level indicates a possible fire. Trash fires usually occur when someone throws a stray cigarette butt into the trash and can become very dangerous, very quickly. By identifying fires before they turn into a blaze, the fire department can react and respond in less time, keeping everyone safe.

Now that Brimbank has IoT sensors that track these  assets, it can take preventative measures to protect them from damage.

Improving city management with IoT solutions

But this is just the beginning for Brimbank in it’s journey to becoming a full-fledged smart city. It has plans to further use IoT devices to improve city management, monitoring the cleanliness of public bathrooms and investigating the urban heat island effect, the alarming trend of higher temperatures in cities than the surrounding more rural areas.
For more information on how IoT sensor data can help your business discover new ways to solve old problems, join our interactive webinar with AWS to learn how to save you time, money, and resources.