High-tech solutions for the environment

Four solar-powered compactor dustbins have recently been installed at various locations around the Meyrin site. These compact systems fitted with photovoltaic panels compress waste; their increased capacity compared to a standard dustbin reduces the number of collections and the associated CO2 emissions.


Four strange "machines" have recently appeared on the CERN site. Made by the company Big Belly, these intelligent solar-powered mini-compactors fitted with the latest energy-saving technology are perfectly aligned with the Laboratory's policy of minimising the impact of its activities on the environment.

With their ability to hold up to four times more waste than the average bin, they need to be emptied less frequently, significantly reducing the CO2 emissions associated with collection and transport. What's more, the integrated software monitors the fill level of each bin in real time and sends an e-mail or text when it needs emptying, thus optimising collections and saving costs.

The bins, "decorated" by CERN's Graphic Design service, have been installed at the Globe, on the terrace of Restaurant No. 1 and in the pedestrian area in front of Buildings 40 and 42. Three are for ordinary household rubbish, while the fourth is for PET (bottles made of recyclable plastic).

"These first four bins will serve as a pilot. Based on the results, we'll decide whether it makes sense to install further bins," explains Martine Auerbach of the GS Department. The solar-powered bins are part of the an approach by the Organization that uses innovation to preserve the environment. So, now all we need to do is sort our waste and let the compactors do their job.

by Gabrielle Thomas