Pilot project: Hub community tests smart waste bins

Innovations have a long tradition at Hailo, manufacturer of household ladders and waste collectors. The company is currently reinventing the waste bin: nine prototypes of so-called Smart Bins are currently undergoing a test at the Digital Hub Logistics in Dortmund. “As a result, we can help the hub save on emptying costs and work in a more sustainable and waste-conscious way,” explains Christoph Erbach, head of the Hailo Digital Hub, about the project.

In 1960 the Hailo company had launched the first aluminium house ladder on the market, in the 1980s the medium-sized company from Haiger in Hessen presented the first ladder with rungs and levelling system. With its subsidiary Hailo Digital Hub, the company is now developing customer-centric and technology-based indoor waste solutions. The new intelligent waste bins, which are tested in the hub, measure the frequency of use, fill levels and other data points.

Contact between the Digital Hub Logistics and Hailo was established via the hub member META. Both medium-sized companies belong to the Joachim Loh Group. They each pursue an ambitious digitisation strategy:

  • Hailo founded the Hailo Digital Lab, an independent company that develops new smart solutions in the context of cleaning and building automation.
  • META established the digital unit META AND YOU, whose employees drive digitization through strategic partnerships with start-ups and intelligent complementary products to the shelf.

Both the Hailo start-up and the start-up of META decided to move into external facilities – both of which are also deliberately linked to scientific institutions: The Hailo Digital Hub is located in Gießen near the Justus Liebig University, the second largest university in Hessen. META AND YOU uses the infrastructure of the Dortmund hub and benefits from the hub’s unique ecosystem, including the Fraunhofer Institutes IML and ISST as well as the TU Dortmund. The teams are able to act freely and quickly thanks to working methods detached from the parent companies.


How does the technology work?

Testing new technologies and business models without complications and with curiosity: This combines the Digital Hub Logistics in Dortmund and the Hailo Digital Hub. With the smart waste bins, everything is about IoT – from electronics to the cloud, from data-driven services to the customer interface.
“We were directly excited and open to make our coworking space available for real testing of the smart trash cans,” says Darja Kramer, innovation coach at Digital Hub Logistics. “Our members think the project is very exciting – and I have to say that people are now thinking twice about how often and what they feed the trash can with. For us value-added junkies, however, it is even more interesting to see how the technology works in the background and how the data is processed …”.

The smart waste collectors will now be in the hub until the end of the year. After that, the coworking space requirements will be evaluated so that distribution and size can be adapted to the needs of the hub.

Photo: Shutterstock, Digital Hub Logistics