Battery Recycling Bin Management with the Yabby Edge
Australia’s Only Onshore Mixed-Battery Recycling Company
Envirostream Australia was established in 2017 to develop safe and innovative solutions for what is emerging as one of the greatest challenges, within Australia and globally, facing the waste management industry: what to do with end-of-life batteries.
The only onshore, mixed-battery recycling facility in Australia with the integrated capacity to collect, sort, shred and separate all the components of spent Lithium-ion (Li-ion) and single-use alkaline batteries, Envirostream also designs battery collection units and offers full battery recycling services to large retailers across Australia and New Zealand.
GPS Tracking and Sensor-Based Servicing of Battery Collection Units
As Bunnings’ official battery recycling partner, Envirostream manages the provisioning and maintenance of the battery collection units deployed in the hardware chain’s retail sites across Australia. Located at the front of all Bunnings stores, the battery collection bins make it convenient for customers and tradies alike to drop off used batteries with confidence, knowing they’ll be recycled.
Battery Recycle Bins (Bunnings)
With over 350 collection bins currently deployed, Envirostream required a robust battery-powered GPS asset tracking device to track and manage their bins indoors and outdoors.
The irony is not lost when considering battery-powered tracking solutions for battery recycling bin management – Leveraging low-power Cellular LTE-M (Cat-M1) and NB-IoT networks, cloud-based location solving, and a breadth of intelligent power management features, the Yabby Edge features over 10 years of battery life on 3 user-replaceable (and recyclable) Alkaline or Lithium AAA batteries, significantly reducing environmental waste and operating costs.
Featuring both GPS and Wi-Fi Positioning for seamless Indoor-to-outdoor asset tracking, location tracking with the Yabby Edge was critical during bin deployments, according to Max Lane, General Manager, Commerical at Envirostream.
“In a market impacted by both covid and flooding, we required asset-level visibility to track the collection bins from production through to delivery,” says Lane. “With the Yabby Edges installed on all bins, we were able to assess delivery delays in real-time and more effectively communicate with our partners and stakeholders.”
Once on-site and relatively stationary, location reporting frequencies on the Yabby Edge are reduced and remotely updated over-the-air using our Device Management Platform to further conserve battery life and data usage.
Location of Battery Recycling Bins across Australia (Envirostream)
Preventing Over-Fill to Improve Safety and Customer Experience
In addition to location tracking, Envirostream utilizes Tip Detection on the Yabby Edge to enable pre-emptive “over-fill” alerts via email and SMS to improve safety, customer experience, and optimize service frequencies.
The Yabby Edge is installed inside each battery bin on a lever mechanism designed by Envirostream. The tilt angle is then calibrated based on weight to indicate fill levels.
“We have configured the devices to send alerts when the bins are about 50% full, so we can engage with our service agents well before the bins reach capacity,” says Lane. “Although we are still early in our deployment, we expect the Yabby Edge will reduce service frequencies by 30%.”
Bunnings’ collection bins are also in highly visible, trafficked areas of the stores, so presentation and customer experience are also a priority.
“It shouldn’t be a hassle for consumers to recycle their batteries,” says Lane. “If a customer comes in with a bag of batteries and the bin is full, it’s unsafe, it doesn’t look good visually, and it’s not a good experience. They may not bother with recycling them in the future.”
On-Board Temperature Monitoring with After-Hours Alerts
Composed of particularly volatile compounds, the collection of lithium-ion batteries specifically can pose an “existential threat” to collection and recycling facilities.
On-board temperature monitoring on the Yabby Edge enables critical over-temperature alerts, providing early warning alerts to Envirostream when a specific bin may be experiencing temperature increases.
“We are impressed with the robustness and operational capabilities of the Yabby Edge. We worked closely with the Digital Matter technical team to understand and learn how to best optimize the devices for our use case.”