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.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A sign outside a storefront in Buffalo, New York.
    Environment

    Will Buffalo Become a Climate Change Haven?

    The Western New York city possesses a distinct mix of weather, geography, and infrastructure that could make it a potential climate haven. But for whom?

  2. photo: a woman on an electric scooter
    Transportation

    Why Aren’t More Women Riding Electric Scooters?

    Most users of micromobility devices like dockless scooters and e-bikes are young men. Fixing that gender gap may take more than just adding safety features.

  3. photo: a high-speed train in Switzerland
    Transportation

    The Case for Portland-to-Vancouver High-Speed Rail

    At the Cascadia Rail Summit outside Seattle, a fledgling scheme to bring high-speed rail from Portland to Vancouver found an enthusiastic reception.

  4. A Charles Booth map of streets north of London's Hyde Park.
    Maps

    19th-Century London’s Extreme Wealth and Poverty, Mapped

    Charles Booth’s famous maps of Victorian London offer a chance to reflect on how the city has changed—and how it hasn’t.

  5. A Soviet map of London, labeled in Russian.
    Maps

    The Soviet Military Secretly Mapped the Entire World

    These intricate, curious maps were supposed to be destroyed. The ones that remain reveal a fascinating portrait of how the U.S.S.R. monitored the world.

×