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Solar-Powered Trash Can FAIL

Some time ago, Vassar deployed Big Belly solar-powered, network-connected, compacting trash cans. We recently walked across the campus to a play …

Once is happenstance:

Vassar Old Main - Broken Trash Can 1

Vassar Old Main – Broken Trash Can 1

Twice is coincidence:

Vassar Old Main - Broken Trash Can 2

Vassar Old Main – Broken Trash Can 2

Those neatly printed signs suggested a common-mode failure, so we took the long way back to visit my all-time favorite trash can installation. Yup, three times is enemy action:

Vassar Library - Broken Trash Can 3

Vassar Library – Broken Trash Can 3

You can still put trash in the containers through the obvious opening. Perhaps the networking failed?

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  1. #1 by TravelingServiceMan on 2016-07-09 - 08:21

    Iot and complex functionality is not necessarily a good thing. The old adage of KISS comes to mind.

    • #2 by rkward on 2016-07-09 - 09:03

      It’s hard to keep creeping featurism at bay for many of us, but it’s good to keep in mind that every new feature is a potential failure point.

      • #3 by Ed on 2016-07-10 - 07:59

        So many features: solar-powered / networked / compacting!

        A trash bag inside an open can is surprisingly reliable, but, I suppose, those looked unsightly.

  2. #4 by Jose I Romero on 2016-07-12 - 15:58

    I like the fact that they had to put a “This is NOT a book drop” signs on it. I wonder how many books they found there before they put up the sign.

    • #5 by Ed on 2016-07-12 - 19:14

      Given that they’re compacting trash cans, maybe an overload sensor tripped out…

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