Sensors and monitoring devices to enhance parking, litter collection, air quality and building management have been deployed in Edenderry, Co Offaly, as part of a new project which is the first of its kind in Ireland.
The project, dubbed 'e-denderry', is being rolled out by Cellnex, a European provider of wireless infrastructure, and is intended to provide a model for how other towns can benefit from technology-led infrastructure.
Cellnex said the use of technology was being conducted in a manner that is fully compliant with all data protection and GDPR regulations. Personal images and identities are not recorded or tracked in any aspect of the project.
It said the project forms part of a wider suite of measures that Offaly County Council is engaged in to develop a sustainable green economy.
Cellnex uses low power wide area technology to enhance the provision of parking and litter collection. It said this will enable the council to better manage these services and that the infrastructure deployed can be maintained easily and at low cost.
In relation to parking, the project uses sensors to ensure appropriate use of loading bays, wheelchair spaces and electric vehicle charging points.
On litter control, it measures of how full bins are and when they need emptying. A demonstration bin has already been deployed and five more bins are to be upgraded in a new public area on JKL Street.
For air quality monitoring, sensors throughout the town will provide real-time monitoring of air quality and pollution levels, assisted by the expertise of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Finally, in relation to building management systems, there will be remote monitoring of energy use, access, lighting and smoke alarms at Edenderry Municipal District offices and also in the Community Cabin project.
Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan said he was looking forward to "seeing the data gathered in these projects, and considering how we might employ this technology throughout the country".
Sharon Kennedy, director of services, housing, community, culture, emergency services and Edenderry Municipal District, said the sensors that have been installed will support the council’s ability to manage its public buildings and public services more effectively.
“We are only at the very early stages of what can be achieved,” she said. “Having regard to the various economic and community challenges experienced in the county in the past year, it’s vital that we explore ways to ensure the town repositions itself to adapt and thrive.”
Paul Delaney, sales director with Cellnex Ireland, said the company was pioneering the use of this technology across Europe. “We see e-denderry as a showcase for what can be delivered and we look forward continuing this partnership to extend our achievements into new areas,” he said.