Robotic bin cleaning system saves billions of litres of drinking water from contamination

Bin cleaning robot, Machinery Automation & RoboticsIn recognition of the need for environmentally friendly municipal wide bin sanitisation operations, FreshBins and Scott Automation & Robotics developed a mobile system that drastically reduces water usage, whilst removing environmental pollutants from the process. The sanitisation process is completed in only seconds, allowing the operator to process over 1000 bins in an 8 hour shift – without having to leave the truck or come into contact with any microbiological agents. Recycled water is used, ensuring there is no impact on drinking water supplies.

Between one and one and a half kilograms of toxic waste and litter remains in each bin after it is ‘emptied’. FreshBins studies show that common practise results in up to 100 litres of potable drinking water is used to clean each wheelie bin of these remains, and in some cases much more, emptied into our stormwater system. In commercial rubbish skips water usage is up to 1500 litres per bin (often emptied into the stormwater system). This method provides a clean but not a kill of pathogens. By contrast FreshBins processes use less than a cup of water per bin.

The FreshBins system is entirely mobile; utilising the world’s first mobile three-dimensional sensing robot, installed and programmed by SCOTT – in the back of the FreshBins truck! SCOTT combined new sensor and collector technology with an effective ozone sterilising system, to ensure the robot is able to locate and pick up the bin for cleaning regardless of bin position or orientation.

In operation, the FreshBins truck pulls up beside a bin for cleaning, which is scanned by the 3D system that can identify and locate bins day or night, in all weather conditions. A separate scanner identifies any moving objects within the proximity of the robot (including people and animals) to ensure it is safe to proceed, and the robot picks up the bin and brings it into the truck where it is cleaned and sanitised, and returns it to the curb.

All cleaning, sterilisation and sanitisation processes are chemical free and have zero environmental impact – they destroy 99.9% of all disease and pathogens with no impact on our storm-water, rivers and land ecosystems

For Victoria, at 1000+ bins per truck per shift, FreshBins operations allow municipal leaders to partner with the wider community to save up to 11.5 billion litres of drinking water (the equivalent to 4600 olympic sized swimming pools) and remove up to 175,000 tonnes of toxins and litter from our marine ecosystems. Removal of these toxins also prevents a substantially greater volume of water from being contaminated, reducing our environmental footprint.

With the success of the robotic bin cleaning system in the Victorian market, Fresh Bins is now in discussions for expansion into the USA, UK, Ireland & New Zealand.