Using existing CCTV cameras and cutting-edge analytics systems, Bullens Lane has become a site for testing how technology and data could enable a better city waste system.

This will allow the city to tackle the issue of waste dumping more efficiently and keep laneways – the busy and narrow city streets and pedestrian areas – even more clean, safe and free of garbage.

The details

In partnership with Nokia, this pilot enables data collection and real-time insights about the use of waste compacters and recycling bins in Bullens Lane. The objective is to explore how a system might better support users, those who service the site, and ensure the space remains a safe and healthy city space.

What we are trying to understand

The pilot allows data to provide an insight to questions such as:.

  • How much waste the Bullens Lane bins receive daily
  • The peak usage times
  • Alignment between waste collections and waste disposal.

The implementation of this pilot will identify opportunities for improved efficiencies and a potential for further engagement with users around awareness and behaviour.

What’s next?

The data will further contribute to a more agile and intelligent waste-system to support city businesses and waste service providers. It will also assist with enhancing street safety and health for both visitors and residents to Bullens Lane, as well as help promote responsible and correct usage of the facility.


More on the technology

  • CCTV cameras – with number plates, faces and any other identifying visuals blurred before being sent to be processed
  • Nokia Scene Analytics Edge compute gateways
  • Video Analytics Platform
  • Power BI and Python Dashboards
  • SMS notifications.
  • Number of compactor and recycling bin users (How often people dispose of rubbish correctly?)
  • Amount of time the compactor is unable to be used (How often the rubbish compactor is not working due to incorrect disposal?)
  • Number of dumped rubbish events (How often rubbish is dumped in the laneway?)
  • Number of times the laneway is blocked by vehicles, excluding waste rubbish trucks (How often the laneway is blocked?)

This data is collected to:

  • support the people who service the bins. This helps us to understand waste patterns and make collections more efficient
  • support the people who use the bins. This helps us and our providers to identify if the facility appropriately matches their waste needs
  • understand and measure rubbish dumping events. This gives us the opportunity to identify causes for any dumping of waste and make changes so that people can dispose of waste correctly.
  • Video stream is sent from the cameras in Bullen’s Lane to Nokia Scene Analytics Edge Gateway in a secure server room in Sydney
  • The video stream is processed by blurring faces and number plates for privacy and changed into numerical information that appears on dashboards in real-time for easy viewing
  • SMS alerts are also sent to City of Melbourne’s waste service contractors when rubbish dumping occurs, the compactor should be emptied, or there’s a laneway obstruction. This helps keep the laneway clean and a healthy space
  • The information is also analysed for historical trend analysis to understand patterns of behaviour. This will assist the City of Melbourne in identifying and understanding opportunities for efficiency and create a safer and cleaner laneway experience in the future.

The City of Melbourne and Citywide as contracted service provider.

This data is stored permanently for any possible future analysis.

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