Aussies stunned by peculiar feature on recycling bin: 'Holy s**t'

A strange device found on a recycling bin in Melbourne’s CBD has stumped the internet – yet there's a simple explanation for the technology.

The black, circular box with a smaller white dot on top was spotted on the inside of the yellow lid and posted to Reddit on Wednesday.

“What is this?” the caption read. “Looks like an electronic tag?”

Speaking to Yahoo News Australia, the poster said they came across the bin on Exhibition Street.

“It was located in front of a food truck I frequent,” they said. “The owner was equally as clueless.”

The recycling bin with a black device on the inside of the yellow lid.
One Melbournian was left scratching his head after coming across this black device on a recycling bin on Exhibition Street. Source: Reddit

Wild conspiracies behind strange device

The peculiar accessory sparked the attention of dozens of curious users who all had their own wild theories.

“I reckon it’s a weight for the lid,” one person wrote before another suggested that it could be “to stop the crows/cockatoos from opening the lids.”

“[It’s a] smart place to hide your keys,” someone else said while another claimed that it was “a really committed Roomba,” referring to the robot vacuum cleaner.

Another claimed that “Big Brother is monitoring our rubbish.”

But one user was on the mark, revealing that the device is “a sensor to measure when the bin is full and schedule a pickup.”

“Holy s**t, I thought you were joking,” on person replied. “Now imagine explaining that to someone from the 1960s and seeing their reaction,” another added.

Ultrasonic waste bin full-level sensor.
The lid accessory is believed to be a City of Melbourne sensor that alerts contractors to change the bin once it is 70 percent full. Source: Zunch Labs

Method to prevent overflowing bins

While the City of Melbourne is yet to formally respond to Yahoo News Australia’s request for information, a spokesperson said that the image does look to be one of their bins.

For the last seven years, the City of Melbourne has been using smart sensor technology to improve rubbish collection at a large number of bins across busy CBD locations.

“Overflowing bins are a terrible look for our city,” the then Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said back in 2015. “These sensors will send an alert back to base when a bin hits 70 percent capacity so it can be emptied within the hour.”

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