London's New Superpower Recycle Bins

They have LCD screens for news, wi-fi and can withstand major bomb blasts.

Out-of-luck London city workers without recourse to their smart phones to find out the stock markets stats of the day or to query about tube delays will find help in one of the 25 new digitized recycling bins recently installed across the city. The Renew bins, which have been in the works for several years, are being touted as a means to increase security in the city’s high-trafficked areas and improve the recycling performance of Londoners.

The new models will replace the city’s old cast iron bins which proved so vulnerable to terrorist plots, as each has been tested in the New Mexico desert to withstand bomb blasts. Beyond durability, each is equipped with 2 LCD screens that will flash and update news content specific to the time of day and the unit’s location. They will also serve as a wi-fi hub. In the event of an emergency, the pods will display safety and evacuation measures to direct nearby pedestrians out of harm’s way.

As one might expect, the new bins don’t come cheap. A single unit will cost £30,000 to manufacture and install and will incur a sum of £500,000 in maintenance fees over a 21-year period. However, the developers have hopes that the bins will find sponsors such as Barclays, especially in anticipation of the Olympic Games this summer when the number of smart pods will triple. Several other cities have expressed interest in their own Renew bins, with test units soon to be installed in Lower Manhattan and Tokyo transit stops.

See pictures of the new bins here.

This post originally appeared on Architizer, an Atlantic partner site.

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