Solar-powered ‘clever bins’ to be installed in Male’

The Maldives is to install a series of high-tech, solar-powered ‘Clever Bins’ along the northern shoreline of Male’, the first public bins in the capital.

The bins, which were showcased on the popular UK television show Dragon’s Den, show display advertising on three sides of the contraption. The fourth side is a solar panel that charges a battery during the day, allowing the bins to illuminate the ads at night.

The bins will be situated along the shore from the area near President’s jetty to the area near the berth for the airport ferry, a strip where vessels commonly collect and deposit tourists from nearby resort islands.

The bins are already used in Hong Kong, Singapore, Italy, and several cities in the UK. Advertisers include the UK’s National Health Service and Apple Inc.

Announcing the decision today, Managing Director of the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation, Simon Hawkins, explained that the government would only pay the costs to ship the five bins from Singapore.

“Clever Bins will receive 80 percent of the ad revenue for providing the bins and technology, while we will keep the rest and divide it between the relevant stakeholders,” he said.

“This is not a profit exercise – the Maldives has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2020, and we are receiving more visitors to Male’ than ever before. The market has also shifted in favour of Asian visitors, who seek cultural experiences – a trip to Male’ can be a highlight, but they find it very frustrating when there is nowhere to put rubbish.”

Hawkins described the bins as “robust and vandal proof” to “British hooligan” standards – “they have them in Manchester,” he noted, adding the they would be in well-lit and trafficked areas right outside Male’s main police station.

Male’ City Council will be responsible for clearing the bins and provide a staff member who will be trained in their maintenance and upkeep, with spare parts available via courier. Clever Bins had a vested interest in keeping the bins functional, Hawkins said, as their ad revenue depended on it.

The MMPRC would sign a contract this week and the bins would be delivered in six weeks, he said, adding that he believed the advertising spots would be of interest to companies keen to show off both their high tech and environmental credentials..

Director of local environmental NGO Bluepeace, Ahmed Ikram, said that even if the bins were gimmicky “we would welcome them as it will help raise awareness that littering is a problem”, and said he hoped the program would lead to bins being rolled out to the rest of Male’.

“Before the 1970s much of our rubbish was biodegradable [and] thrown onto the beach or into the sea,” he said. “Since then we have developed rapidly and acquired modern goods, but it is still ingrained in us that littering is not a problem,” he said.

Last week the Environment Protection Agency (EPA)  blamed a surge of garbage floating in Thilafushi lagoon on “impatient” trash boats, which had begun to float out into the sea, and announced its intention to investigate 10 culprits.

Minivan News recently interviewed a visiting French tourist, Mary Kivers, who had spent several days visiting Guraidhoo and observed that garbage was “everywhere”.

“It’s funny because we who live abroad think that Male’ will be an example for the world about pollution and everything, since global warming is important here. But when you see the inhabitants in the Maldives, they put anything into the sea. It was funny, on Guraidhoo one of the girls had a diaper, and I asked her where she was going. She said, ‘I am going to the bin,’ and she went and threw it in the sea.”


26 thoughts on “Solar-powered ‘clever bins’ to be installed in Male’”

  1. Moral of the story. Don't take the sea for granted even if you have grown with it. Take care of the sea and take care of yourself!

  2. High-Tec clever bins will not work in Maldives; just think of a brainless Bangalhi handling the bins!

  3. Great news.

    Although I'm surprised that UK's NHS is advertising here. What do they gain from it.

  4. Yay! Just what we need. Smart bins!

    Bring on the talking toilets and singing floor tiles.

    Too bad we don't have decent housing, proper basic medical care, effective education or efficient management of other government services.

  5. If we call the Bangalhi brainless, I wonder what we can call the person who assigned him the job.

  6. Brainless Bangalhi actually built your house and looks after your children... wonder what that makes us maldivians...

  7. "Too bad we don’t have decent housing, proper basic medical care, effective education or efficient management of other government services."

    Sheehs, some people eh? Sounds like a clip from Monty Python! Sit on your arse and all your prayers just may get answered ... one day. Lazy fckers!

  8. I Am worried, here is a plan that is a complete solution and is urgently needed and free. Yet there are still so many criticizing it? If totally focusing on the negative is your sport, Maldives have the Olympic gold medal.

  9. Why the area near P Office? a bit of show to the tourists eh? I would think bins r more needed near artificial beach & raalgugadu n the gaadiyaa line

  10. This will never work in the Maldives...stupid city council....maintenance costs will be high, after a few weeks all the bins will be gone....

  11. About time people in Maldives incorporate solar-powered technology into their lives!

  12. braingless banghali: one who works 3 jobs, sends home money for family and children's education.

    mega-brained maldivian: one who hangs around in coffee shops, buys new gadgets on release date and begs, borrows or steals for survival.

  13. Having bins in Male' for people to dispose of the litter is a great idea, specially in public areas. I would not mind if it was regular bins what is important is disposing the garbage collected in these bins regularly. Remember the experience with the large bins collected using a special vehicle?

  14. while im glad its a sign of a proper waste management it still baffles me to see the showOFF attitude in this. you see we dont need high tech expensive bins just yet, first we need simple bins and learn to use them..

  15. Dose not make sense! U can probably buy 200 bins with the money ur planing to spend on one stupid bin! and 80% add sharing?


    WHATS SO E-Friendly about Bin which lights up at night?

    Mr Nasheed is just busy creating a personality cult!



  16. I don't wear a shirt today. I have always thought that I didn't need one. My friends have cajoled me into accepting that I need to wear one. It will be difficult in the beginning, considering I still have to learn to wash, iron, and generally care for the garment.

    I got some money, though with my limited budget I have an option of purchasing a dozen ordinary shirts or one bespoke suit.

    I'm going for the suit. Wish me luck!

  17. Angry man & others of that breed don't understand how this project is financed. For your info the bins are paid by advertisers and more money will be generated to cover more areas. So get your facts right before moving your fingers.

  18. I hope the Maldivians put their litter into this bin but not on the road. The problems with Maldvians are just that they are not used to use bins for littering, instead they just throw the trash in the pavement of the road. One more thing, where would all those disgusting spitters (after after eating nuts and beetle leaf) put their spit in? May be they also need a bin to do that as we find there red coloured spits all over the road.

  19. Chewing experts are from Kulhudufushi, now a day they do not spit on the roads.
    The chain smokers will be the problems, they through butts everywhere

  20. To Zeena Gasim,

    eg: 20 bin are better than 1bin!

    “Clever Bins will receive 80 percent of the ad revenue for providing the bins and technology, while we will keep the rest and divide it between the relevant stakeholders,”

    "the government would only pay the costs to ship the five bins from Singapore."




    D- They will be sharing just 80% of the profit?

    E- it will get destroyed!

    F- Who is maintaining it?

    I believe u need to get out from ur own little yellow box! and start thinking!

    20bin are better than 1bin!

    BTW did u come up with the idea? I hope I pissed you off!


    Lots of love



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