I have to move my trash container approximately 200 feet from my house so that the trash will be collected. Sometimes the collectors come when they are supposed to; other times they do not come until the following day, or latter. From my house, I cannot see if the trash has been collected so that I can bring the container back to the house. I solved the problem by installing a Sensative Door/Window Sensor on my container. It notifies me when the trash has been collected.
My trash container is plastic and has a hinged lid. The sensor is weather resistant but to protect it further, I installed it on the edge of the container such that when the lid is closed, the sensor is protected, and I installed the sensor’s magnet on the lid’s lip. The photo shows where I mounted the parts. I created a simple WebCore piston to only watch for lid opens/closes during the time period I expect the trash is to be collected. When the lid is opened, the piston sends a text message to my phone.
Its a simple application, but it shows that even the lowly trash container can be “Smart.”