Nordsense, a Denmark-based artificial intelligence-based waste management technology company, has partnered with the City of San Francisco to optimize waste collection across the city.
The results were an 80 percent drop in the number of overflowing bins, as well as a 64 percent decrease in illegal dumping and a 66 percent decrease in street cleaning. Complaints from the public concerning trash overflow in smart bins were “eliminated.”
“Waste collection hasn’t really changed for the past 100 years,” Manuel Maestrini told NBC Bay Area News as a Recology trash truck roared by. “I mean, we used to do it with carts and horses. Now we do it with large trucks.”
Maestrini is a bit of an expert on the subject of trash: he studied dirty streets for his master’s thesis while in Copenhagen – the city that later became the first customer of his startup, Nordsense. (The name simply means “sensors from the north.”) The startup makes a small black box that goes inside outdoor trash cans, and monitors how close they are to overflowing. Once enough trash has piled up, the box sends out a request for a garbage truck to come by and empty the can.