bigbelly-solar02Trash cans are everywhere. They’re convenient ways of disposing trash you might pick up along the way, like a canned drink, a burger wrapper, tissue, and etc. However beyond just being a container for storing trash, what if trash cans could gain added functionality, such as transforming itself into a WiFi hotspot?

As it turns out, that’s what a company in Massachusetts is planning. The company, called BigBelly, has recently applied for a grant from the Mayor’s Office and their plan is to take the trash cans of New York City and turn them into solar-powered WiFi hotspots. Not content with just providing WiFi, these trash cans will also be able to detect if trash cans have been uncollected for too long and will also be able to compress the contents in order to make room for more.

The trash cans will also be able to display information, such as public service announcements, to passerbys. According to Jeremy Schneider of Downtown Alliance who helped BigBelly test out their trash can hotspots, these devices will be able to hit speeds as fast as 50-75 megabits per second, which is apparently good enough to run a small business.

Assuming everything goes according to plan and if the government were to agree to the grant, the company will roll out more trash cans with WiFi connectivity this fall.

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