Waste management is one of the vital functions of a smart city. Current mechanisms do not take into account the actual fill level from containers, and instead schedule collection on predefined intervals. Since the generation of trash is dynamic in nature, it often results in some trash cans getting overloaded and leaking while others remain almost empty. Overflowing trash can be not only aesthetically unpleasant but it could also be a health hazard for communities, especially in warm environments. You must have found yourself wanting to adjust garbage into an overflowing trash can because the neighbour had a big party last night? Or you could not bear the nauseating smell of the trash decomposing in front of your house because the summer is unusually hot and the waste collection only happens once in 3 days? The smart trash can project is your solution!
The measurement of Trash can fill level can be done by multiple means such as measuring the distance between the lid and trash content level. Another possible measurement could be measuring the weight of the trash can via a load cell (weight sensor). However, due to the fact that trash contents could vary in nature (such as solid waste vs plastic or paper) measuring weight could not guarantee an accurate fill level. Therefore measuring empty space remains the most practical way to measure the fill contents. It also simplifies the design because all the circuitry could be contained in one place, i.e. the top of the trash can.
We will use an emulated Raspberry Pi instance along with HCSR04 Ultrasonic distance sensor to measure the trash can fill level.