Smart projects achieve sustainable solutions

25 Sep 2018

Three enterprising thesis students from UQ's School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (ITEE) have been hard at work on three projects that offer smart and sustainable solutions to campus waste management.

The projects are part of ITEE Senior Lecturer Dr Alex Pudmenzky’s Smart City research initiatives, which explore various ways of using ‘the Internet of Things’ (the concept of connecting any device to the internet) technologies.

Kate Welsh's Sani-Bin, Adric Armstrong-Smith's Smart-Bin and Joshua Tambunan's Coffee-Bin all offer efficient ways of improving campus waste collection, and are helping make UQ's St Lucia campus a cleaner and more sustainable place.

The Sani-Bin enables UQ cleaning staff to monitor the levels of campus sanitary bins online, reducing the time and resources needed to service the bins and preventing them from becoming overfilled. Similarly, the Smart-Bin, developed in collaboration with Property and Facilities, measures the waste levels of bins in the busiest areas of campus, allowing P&F staff to know exactly when those bins require emptying. 

Finally, the Coffee-Bin helps prevent recycle bins from being contaminated with a common culprit: non-recyclable takeaway coffee cups. A device detects when the waste placed in a recycling bin is a takeaway coffee cup—if it is, the cup is automatically separated from the waste load.

Find out more about all the other fascinating UQ student SmartCampus projects here.