A US company, Bigbelly, has turned solar-powered trash cans in New York into free public Wi-Fi hotspots.
Bigbelly had earlier developed solar-powered, rubbish-compacting bins with cloud-based connectivity that provide real-time data to tell which bins need emptying.
The company now wants the trash cans to provide free public Wi-Fi by way of a wireless repeater installed on the bottom of each station.
With the help of New York city-based Downtown Alliance, Bigbelly has been conducting a pilot test in which two of these bins were turned into free public Wi-Fi hotspots.
While solar power has limitations late in the evening and during winter months, installing Wi-Fi on Bigbelly stations may be a smart way of expanding hotspot coverage further along city streets in New York.
Bigbelly is focused on developing their solar-powered garbage/recycling stations into powerful tools.
"Some of the other things that we're looking at is being able to track urban intelligence data," Leila Dillon, VP of marketing for Bigbelly told Gizmag.
"Also things like footfall, pollution levels, radiation levels, and many other services, applications, and benefits to this core city infrastructure that every city and town has and needs," Dillon said.