IOT Based Dumpster Monitoring System using Arduino & ESP8266

In this DIY, we are going to make an IOT based dumpster/garbage Monitoring System which will tell us that whether the trash can is empty or full through the webserver and you can know the status of your ‘Trash Can’ or 'Dumpsters' from anywhere in the world over the Internet. It will be very useful and can be installed in the Trash Cans at public places as well as at home.

In this IOT Project, an Ultrasonic Sensor is used for detecting whether the trash can is filled with garbage or not. Here Ultrasonic Sensor is installed at the top of Trash Can and will measure the distance of garbage from the top of Trash can and we can set a threshold value according to the size of trash can. If the distance will be less than this threshold value, means that the Trash can is full of garbage and we will print the message “Basket is Full” on the webpage and if the distance will be more than this threshold value, then we will print the message “Basket is Empty”. Here we have set the Threshold value of 5cm in the Program code. We will use ESP8266 Wi-Fi module for connecting the Arduino to the webserver. Here we have used Local webserver to demonstrate the working of this Garbage Monitoring System.

 

Components Required:

  • Arduino Uno (you can use any other)
  • ESP8266 Wi-Fi module
  • HC-SR04 Ultrasonic sensor
  • 1K Resistors
  • Breadboard
  • Connecting wires

 

HC-SR04 Ultrasonic Sensor:

The Ultrasonic Sensor is used to measure the distance with high accuracy and stable readings. It can measure distance from 2cm to 400cm or from 1 inch to 13 feet.  It emits an ultrasound wave at the frequency of 40KHz in the air and if the object will come in its way then it will bounce back to the sensor. By using that time which it takes to strike the object and comes back, you can calculate the distance.

Ultrasonic-Sensor-HC-SR04

The ultrasonic sensor has four pins. Two are VCC and GND which will be connected to the 5V and the GND of the Arduino while the other two pins are Trig and Echo pins which will be connected to any digital pins of the Arduino. The trig pin will send the signal and the Echo pin will be used to receive the signal. To generate an ultrasound signal, you will have to make the Trig pin high for about 10us which will send a 8 cycle sonic burst at the speed of sound and after striking the object, it will be received by the Echo pin.

Further check below projects to properly understand the working of Ultrasonic sensor and to measure the distance of any object using it:  

 

ESP8266 Wi-Fi Module:

ESP8266 is a Wi-Fi module which will give your projects access to Wi-Fi or internet. It is a very cheap device but it will make your projects very powerful. It can communicate with any microcontroller and make the projects wireless. It is in the list of most leading devices in the IOT platform. It runs on 3.3V and if you will give it 5V then it will get damage.

ESP8266-wifi-module

The ESP8266 has 8 pins; the VCC and CH-PD will be connected to the 3.3V to enable the wifi. The TX and RX pins will be responsible for the communication of ESP8266 with the Arduino. The RX pin works on 3.3V so you will have to make a voltage divider for it as we made in our project.

 

Circuit Diagram and Explanation:

First of all we will connect the ESP8266 with the Arduino. ESP8266 runs on 3.3V and if you will give it 5V from the Arduino then it won’t work properly and it may get damage. Connect the VCC and the CH_PD to the 3.3V pin of Arduino. The RX pin of ESP8266 works on 3.3V and it will not communicate with the Arduino when we will connect it directly to the Arduino. So, we will have to make a voltage divider for it. Three 1k resistors connected in series will do the work for us. Connect the RX to the pin 11 of the Arduino through the resistors as shown in the figure below and also the TX of the Arduino to the pin 10 of the Arduino.

Now it’s time to connect the HC-SR04 ultrasonic sensor with the Arduino. Connections of the ultrasonic sensor with the Arduino are very simple. Connect the VCC and the ground of the ultrasonic sensor to the 5V and the ground of the Arduino. Then connect the TRIG and ECHO pin of ultrasonic sensor to the pin 8 and 9 of the Arduino respectively.

Arduino Garbage Monitoring Circuit Diagram

 

Code Explanation:

Before uploading the code, make sure that you are connected to the Wi-Fi of your ESP8266 device. You can check the full code in Code section below, code has been well explained by the comments, further we have also explained some important functions below.

 

The Arduino will first read the Ultrasonic Sensor. It will send a ultrasonic signal at the speed of sound when we will make the TRIG pin high for 10us. The signal will comeback after striking the object and we will store the travel time duration in the variable named duration. Then we will calculate the distance of object (garbage in our case) by applying a formula and will store it in the variable named distance.

digitalWrite(trigPin, LOW);
delayMicroseconds(2);
digitalWrite(trigPin, HIGH);
delayMicroseconds(10);
digitalWrite(trigPin, LOW);   
duration = pulseIn(echoPin, HIGH);
distance= duration*0.034/2;

 

For printing the output on the webpage in web browser, we will have to use HTML programming. So, we have created a string named webpage and stored the output in it. To tell whether the trash can is empty or not, we have applied a condition there. If the distance will be less than 5cm then it will show “Basket is Full” on the webpage and if the distance will be greater than 5cm then it will show the message “Basket is Empty” on webpage.

  if(esp8266.available())
  {    
    if(esp8266.find("+IPD,"))
    {
     delay(1000);
     int connectionId = esp8266.read()-48; 
     String webpage = "<h1>IOT Garbage Monitoring System</h1>";
       webpage += "<p><h2>";   
       if (distance<5)
       {
        webpage+= " Trash can is Full";
        }
        else{
          webpage+= " Trash can is Empty";
          }
       webpage += "</h2></p></body>"; 

 

The following code will send and show the data on the webpage. The data, we stored in string named ‘webpage’, will be saved in string named ‘command’. The ESP8266 will then read the character one by one from the ‘command’ and will print it on the webpage.

String sendData(String command, const int timeout, boolean debug)
{
    String response = "";   
    esp8266.print(command); 
    long int time = millis();
    while( (time+timeout) > millis())
    {
      while(esp8266.available())
      {
        char c = esp8266.read(); 
        response+=c;
      }  
    }
    if(debug)
    {
      Serial.print(response);
    }
    return response;
}

 

Testing and Output of the Project:

After uploading the code, open the Serial Monitor and it will show you an IP address as shown below.

IOT-garbage-monitoring-system-IP-webserver

Type this IP address in your browser, it will show you the output as shown below. You will have to refresh the page again if you want to see again that the trash can is empty or not.

IOT-garbage-monitoring-system-output

 

So this how this Garbage Monitoring System works, this project can be further enhanced by adding few more features in it like we can set one more message when the Trash Can is half filled or we can trigger a Email/SMS to alert the user when Trash Basket is full.

Code: 

#include <SoftwareSerial.h>         // including the library for the software serial
#define DEBUG true
SoftwareSerial esp8266(10,11);      /* This will make the pin 10 of arduino as RX pin and
pin 11 of arduino as the TX pin Which means that you have to connect the TX from the esp8266
to the pin 10 of arduino and the Rx from the esp to the pin 11 of the arduino*/
                                   
const int trigPin = 8;            // Making the arduino's pin 8 as the trig pin of ultrasonic sensor
const int echoPin = 9;            // Making the arduino's pin 9 as the echo pin of the ultrasonic sensor
// defining two variable for measuring the distance
long duration;
int distance;

void setup()
{
  Serial.begin(9600);         // Setting the baudrate at 9600
  esp8266.begin(9600);        // Set the baudrate according to you esp's baudrate. your esp's baudrate might be different from mine
  pinMode(trigPin, OUTPUT);   // Setting the trigPin as Output pin
  pinMode(echoPin, INPUT);    // Setting the echoPin as Input pin
  
  sendData("AT+RST\r\n",2000,DEBUG);            // command to reset the module
  sendData("AT+CWMODE=2\r\n",1000,DEBUG);       // This will configure the mode as access point
  sendData("AT+CIFSR\r\n",1000,DEBUG);          // This command will get the ip address
  sendData("AT+CIPMUX=1\r\n",1000,DEBUG);       // This will configure the esp for multiple connections
  sendData("AT+CIPSERVER=1,80\r\n",1000,DEBUG); // This command will turn on the server on port 80
}

void loop()
{
digitalWrite(trigPin, LOW);   // Making the trigpin as low
delayMicroseconds(2);         // delay of 2us
digitalWrite(trigPin, HIGH); // making the trigpin high for 10us to send the signal 
delayMicroseconds(10);
digitalWrite(trigPin, LOW);   
duration = pulseIn(echoPin, HIGH);  // reading the echopin which will tell us that how much time the signal takes to come back 

distance= duration*0.034/2;         // Calculating the distance and storing in the distance variable
  
  if(esp8266.available())         // This command will that check if the esp is sending a message 
  {    
    if(esp8266.find("+IPD,"))
    {
     delay(1000);
     int connectionId = esp8266.read()-48; /* We are subtracting 48 from the output because the read() function returns 
                                            the ASCII decimal value and the first decimal number which is 0 starts at 48*/
     String webpage = "<h1>IOT Garbage Monitoring System</h1>";
       webpage += "<p><h2>";   
       if (distance<5)
       {
        webpage+= " Trash can is Full";
        }
        else{
          webpage+= " Trash can is Empty";
          }
       webpage += "</h2></p></body>";  
     String cipSend = "AT+CIPSEND=";
     cipSend += connectionId;
     cipSend += ",";
     cipSend +=webpage.length();
     cipSend +="\r\n";

     sendData(cipSend,1000,DEBUG);
     sendData(webpage,1000,DEBUG);    
     String closeCommand = "AT+CIPCLOSE="; 
     closeCommand+=connectionId; 
     closeCommand+="\r\n";
     sendData(closeCommand,3000,DEBUG);
    }
  }
}
 
String sendData(String command, const int timeout, boolean debug)
{
    String response = "";   
    esp8266.print(command); 
    long int time = millis();
    while( (time+timeout) > millis())
    {
      while(esp8266.available())
      {
        char c = esp8266.read(); 
        response+=c;
      }  
    }
    if(debug)
    {
      Serial.print(response);
    }
    return response;
}

Video: 

Comments (39)

  • mijas's picture
    mijas

    after uploding the code ...nothing appears in my serial monitor screen..please so help

    Dec 05, 2016
  • Ali Hamza's picture
    Ali Hamza

    Change the baud rate. Your esp8266 may have different baud rate.

    Dec 06, 2016
  • mijas's picture
    mijas

    its not working still

    Dec 06, 2016
  • Ali Hamza's picture
    Ali Hamza

    Check your TX and RX are connected to right pins and if it is still not running then try to power esp8266 from other source .

    Dec 07, 2016
  • mijas's picture
    mijas

    how can we power esp from other source?

    Dec 08, 2016
  • Vishnu's picture
    Vishnu

    First of all pls connect ur lappy wifi to the esp8266 network and then try it

    Mar 29, 2017
  • shivu's picture
    shivu

    How to connect my wifi to esp8266

    May 06, 2017
  • r.avinash's picture
    r.avinash

    If I compile the code it shows..
    Send data is not declared in this scope..how to verify it.

    Dec 22, 2016
  • victoria's picture
    victoria

    Having trouble at this part of code: if(esp8266.find("+IPD,"))
    I dont know why it is not working....

    Jan 28, 2017
  • PRANEESHWARAN's picture
    PRANEESHWARAN

    can i add two ultra sonic sensor. and can i get the two bins status on web server ??????????

    Feb 12, 2017
  • Ali Hamza's picture
    Ali Hamza

    Yes you can.

    Feb 12, 2017
  • nic's picture
    nic

    should the wifi module be separately programmed ?

    Feb 17, 2017
  • Ali Hamza's picture
    Ali Hamza

    no.

    Feb 18, 2017
  • bhaskarreddy's picture
    bhaskarreddy

    First i tested my esp8266 module,it is working but when i run the above program as per given instructions,Iam not seeing anything in the serial monitor.Please help me with this.

    Feb 28, 2017
  • Hemanathan's picture
    Hemanathan

    it shows me excess memory space declaration, error what to do

    Mar 01, 2017
  • Sumedh's picture
    Sumedh

    Good work. just want to ask, I want to fetch that result into an android app. Is it possible? i mean , that generated IP, is it static? if so, then i can easily fetch that IP into my app code. and then can display the result.

    Mar 02, 2017
  • Maddy's picture
    Maddy

    You can set ESP8266 module for using static IP with AT command like that: AT+CIPSTA="IP_address","Gateway","subnet_mask" or AT+CIPSTA="192.168.1.120","192.168.1.1","255.255.255.0". ESP8266 remembers the last settings so the IP will remain static.

    Mar 04, 2017
  • Sneha's picture
    Sneha

    We are not getting the values that r displaying in LCD soo how to display plzzzzzz help me

    Jul 17, 2017
  • Karan's picture
    Karan

    ESP8266 module is not able to connect with internet as it is showing me "limited".
    what should be done?

    Mar 04, 2017
  • Iot group's picture
    Iot group

    After uploading the coDe nothing appear onto the serial monitor plz help

    Mar 06, 2017
  • Atul's picture
    Atul

    Sir I am unable to upload the code in the audrino can you please help me? I will be thankful to you

    Mar 25, 2017
  • dilip's picture
    dilip

    I'm getting garbage values on my serial monitor, can someone please help

    Mar 31, 2017
  • PRANAV NANDANKAR's picture
    PRANAV NANDANKAR

    After uploading code nothing appears on serial monitor

    Apr 24, 2017
  • shiv's picture
    shiv

    how to setup a software for this wifi module in order to get the output i mean in the starting which board must i select

    May 05, 2017
  • ruban's picture
    ruban

    sir how much cost for prepare to took iot dumpster monitoring usinig arduino and esp8266

    May 09, 2017
  • Maddy's picture
    Maddy

    It will be less than INR 1000, including all components and Arduino.

    Jul 10, 2017
  • sia's picture
    sia

    m not able to obtain the IP address plz help

    May 19, 2017
  • Roanov's picture
    Roanov

    Any idea how to connect this to a thingspeak channel?

    May 25, 2017
  • Nikhil kumar's picture
    Nikhil kumar

    You should upload that through an API key. Use the api key for connections.

    Jun 26, 2017
  • Nikhil kumar's picture
    Nikhil kumar

    when doing this project while I connect my wifi module to 3.3v pin in Arduino it shows the port error.
    Like "error opening serial port 'COM3'". how many times I changed the port it is showing like that.
    When I remove the wifi module 3.3V pin from Arduino it shows me to port and I can upload all the codes.
    Why that happens.....??

    Jun 26, 2017
  • denish's picture
    denish

    this code not working. output have an error

    Jul 12, 2017
  • erfan's picture
    erfan

    why i cant use AT command

    Sep 06, 2017
  • B.Aswinth Raj's picture
    B.Aswinth Raj

    Ofcourse you can use AT commands. If you take a closer look at the Arduino program, it is actually the AT commnads that are being sent to the ESP8266 through Arduino Program

    Sep 07, 2017
  • rupinder's picture
    rupinder

    i have made the hardware and uploaded the code but when i enter the link in chrome it save proxy script to my computer and after that thrash can is empty appears on my serial monitor not webpage please suggest solution its urgent

    Oct 08, 2017
  • pamodi's picture
    pamodi

    how to connect to the wifi of esp8266?

    Dec 02, 2017
  • AISHA's picture
    AISHA

    Configure the ESP in AP (Access Point) mode and you should be able to find the device on your WIFI device manager on Phone/Computer. Then simply connect to it

    Dec 04, 2017
  • mitul's picture
    mitul

    when i upload this code and connect other wifi module and sensor with arduino board . Its not display serial monitor and 192.168.4.1. this server is not working.. what can i do now.. please help.

    Dec 11, 2017

Leave a comment