Sunday 21 October 2018

This ingenious little lamp lights up to tell you which colour of bins to put out

Meet Scottish inventor Darren Tarbard, the man behind the BinDayCator.

It connects to the local council’s website to let owners know which rubbish collections to expect (Darren Tarbard)
It connects to the local council’s website to let owners know which rubbish collections to expect (Darren Tarbard)

By Edd Dracott, Press Association

A Scottish inventor has gone viral after creating a lamp that tells you what colour bins to put out.

Darren Tarbard’s creation – originally called the Bindicator but changed to BinDayCator for legal reasons due to an unrelated product of the same name – connects to the local council’s website to let owners know which rubbish collections to expect.

“As soon as the councils website is updated the BinDayCator changes colour to indicate the colour of the upcoming bins,” the inventor explained to the Press Association.

“For example if you need to put out the green bin, it will light up green.

“If you have to put out a red and a blue bin half of the bin will light up red and half blue – this works for up to four bins simultaneously.

Darren says 24 hours before the bins are due for collection the light will gently pulse to warn pick up is imminent – he plans to make the bin lid a button in the future to disable it and let others in the household know it’s been dealt with.

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(Darren Tarbard)

Darren, from Glasgow, has worked as an IT consultant for 20 years but every few years likes to work on personal projects, such as computer games, haptic feedback and virtual reality.

After forgetting to put his recycling bins out a few months ago, Darren wanted to “make sure it wouldn’t happen again” so created the BinDayCator over the course of a week – using 3D printing to create the small lamp.

“I left it on top of our recycling bins in the kitchen and it just became an ever present indicator,” Darren told the Press Association.

“I started to appreciate being forewarned, for example if this week was the ‘garden waste’ bin then it reminded me to do the pruning in the garden.”

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(Darren Tarbard)

After months of use Darren then posted a picture of his handy device to Facebook, where he said the conecpt was “an instant hit” among his friends.

“I hadn’t realised the annoyance was so widespread,” said Darren. “I copied and pasted the same simple sentence and photo to Twitter and went off to work on other things.

“I didn’t think that much of it but came back to my phone constantly buzzing and flashing – I was getting notifications faster than I could read them.”

Darren’s BinDayCator has now been shared thousands of times and received messages of support from the UK and abroad.

“Someone in Japan declared that Japan desperately needs this device,” said Darren. “Another from Germany said it would be a big hit there too.”

Darren warns not all bin collection web-pages will currently work with the technology, but he has been approached by multiple councils expressing an interest in the technology and he has offered to work with them to make their data more accessible.

“BinDayCator’s internet platform can offer them a ready made system to enter their data into and for residents it will lead to more standardisation and hopefully simplicity,” said Darren.

“I’ve also been approached by other companies who are interested in using the technology for other purposes.

“For example a pill indicator for elderly people or to remind people with additional support needs of common routine tasks.”

Darren is now awaiting a Kickstarter campaign for the device to be approved, to gather funds with the hope of mass-production.

Press Association

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