CARMEL - A Hoosier startup is trying to do more with an often-ignored sidewalk fixture. Carmel-based eCeptacle creates Internet-of-things-enabled trash cans that not only store and compact garbage, but could help create a revenue stream for local governments or event organizers through digital advertising and information displays. Founder Grant Jenkins says users can also connect to the PowerBins through Wi-Fi, converting smartphones into a "virtual panic button" that triggers lights and sirens on the cans during dangerous situations. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Television, Jenkins said production is just around the corner.

Jenkins says the unit also includes notification technology that lets public works or janitorial staffers know when its ready to be picked up. The company's "SmartMace" smartphone app includes a variety of public and personal safety options that link to the PowerBins.

Jenkins says eCeptacle's first customer is Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. The PowerBins received attention late last year when they were on display at Big Ten Basketball Tournament in downtown Indianapolis. They have also been located in parks in Fishers. Jenkins says he expects to be "making waves" with the cans by the summer once the company locks in a round of funding and can begin production.

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