Low-cost distance sensor for detecting levels of waste in dog waste bins

Hey all,

I’ve noticed that a lot of the dog waste bins in my local area are constantly overflowing.

I’m looking for a low-cost (ideally < £35GBP inc. VAT!) sensor that we can fit to the underside of the lid and monitor the waste levels so they can be emptied in a more efficient manner.

At the moment, I am not looking for a subscription service or fully managed platform, as this sensor will be just one of many that I’m hoping to get deployed in the local area and I want to bring them all under a single management plane.

Thanks in advance!

P.S. This is what I’m trying to avoid:


I have built something similar myself. It is a distance sensor in a feeding station to get a message when the food is running low.
I used a MKR WAN 1310 - but to save costs I’m sure it can be done with an ESP and an additional LoRaWAN chip. As sensor I use a RCW-0001 ultrasonic sensor. The whole thing runs on a 1800mAh LiIon battery. In Deepsleep the consumption is 120µA. I have programmed it so that it wakes up every 4 hours and sends the measurement data once. So the device already runs for a year without that I had to charge the battery.
I hope that are a few clues for your planning.

Thanks, I’m hoping for something that’s commercial rather than hand-built - I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a bin full of poo on fire, but it doesn’t take much to get it going and I’d hate a home-made device to be responsible for that! :joy: :poop: :fire:

Check Dragino “LDDS75 LORAWAN DISTANCE DETECTION SENSOR“. The minimal distance might be an issue given the size of the bin.

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Where do You buy all this stuff to create a workable sensor?

Type the name or description of a product into a search engine. Pay particular attention to sellers that are reasonably able to service your location in the world, wherever that is (also note that the frequency bands used by LoRaWan vary by region, so you not only need something you can buy, but the version you can legally use - unfortunately sellers will sometimes put a batch of product in a warehouse for a country where that particular frequency band version isn’t legal).

At a dirt simple level, a tilt sensor could detect when the lid won’t close.

Granted, you really want to service it earlier.

The ultrasonic distance thing has promise, but also complexity and cost.

I am living in Germany - and the most parts i ordered via amazon.

The cost will certainly armotize. Normally, the trash cans are emptied at regular intervals - regardless of whether they are full or not. If, thanks to a sensor, they are only emptied when they are actually necessary, this will save costs. The savings will eventually outweigh the cost of the sensor.

I tried in Amazon, but maybe I did some mistakes. If you don’t mind could you give me some advices to find things lorawan in amazon, I don’t Know if dipends on what I write in the text box, but I couldn’t find anything in Amazon

I checked my amazon account for the orders - the MKRWAN 1310 I ordered are currently not available. That’s why you can’t find them. Could be because the semiconductors are currently hard to get everywhere…

This was my device: mkrwan 1310 on amazon germany

But as @cslorabox mentioned: type “mkr wan 1310” in google search - click on “shopping” and see whats available in your destination.
Same with sensor…

If you want to see a selection of available LoRaWAN sensors look at the TTN/TTI marketplace or the hardware tab (or the repository) for some ideas - you can even search by device type/application - if something looks of interest you can use google or another s.e. to find sources where those units can be bought. I find Amazon choice very limited as not many vendors use as a selling platform…