Vodafone Innovus, a subsidiary of Vodafone Greece, has created a smart waste collection service for businesses and residents in the commercial heart of city of Athens.
The company has equipped bin lorries serving the area with sensors that can identify and contact businesses when the vehicle is passing using a geofence.
The centre of Athens is bordered by three large public squares – Omonoia, Syntagma and Monastiraki – that form the Commercial Triangle within which are a maze of small streets selling all manner of goods.
Following market research with business owners and visitors, Athens authorities – with funding from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation – launched a €28 million investment programme. The aim of Athens Trigono is to upgrade infrastructure, pedestrianise 110 acres of the area, clean up off-putting graffiti and redesign policing and cleaning services.
Managing the rubbish being generated by the businesses in the Triangle was a challenge. As well as being unsightly, rubbish bins left on the street are arguably worse in hot countries where any food waste will quickly start to decompose and smell.
Vodafone Innovus specialises in providing Internet of Things (IoT) services. The sensors fitted to bin lorries enable residents and shopkeepers to be contacted via a text message so they can carry their rubbish straight out to meet the refuse collector.
“It reflects the new participatory governance model that we have chosen to implement in the city. Not on our own, but along with every citizen”
Giorgos Kaminis, a newly elected member of the Greek parliament who was until recently mayor of Athens, said the upgrading of the Athens Commercial Triangle “is a wager” for the municipal authority and for him personally.
“It reflects the new participatory governance model that we have chosen to implement in the city. Not on our own, but along with every citizen,” he said. “Together with the area’s shopkeepers, with whom we are in constant dialogue, together with trusted partners, such as Vodafone Greece, we have cooperated through the Digital Council and offer new, innovative services to the city; together with the area’s residents and visitors, as our concern is to make the city centre a destination for promenade and recreation.”
Kaminis added: “The smart waste collection, with new urban equipment, pedestrian areas, modern lighting and rules in public space management, are transforming the Athens Commercial Triangle into what must be a modern metropolitan centre. And it is an example of how a modern capital, such as Athens, can operate in a cooperative and efficient manner.”
Vodafone Innovus is a member of the Digital Council of Athens, a strategic advisory body that brings together leaders of the largest digital and telecommunications companies in Greece, as well as academics, to advise the municipality.
“We have laid the foundations of a smart city, by equipping the municipality with state-of-the-art technologies that will make the everyday life of professionals and citizens in the Commercial Triangle easier and give value to the city’s services,” said Haris Broumidis, chairman and CEO of Vodafone Greece.
“We strategically invest in IoT, since we believe it is a technology that will change people’s lives, cities’ daily routine, and businesses’ operation for the better.”