Sunplugged's Warren Baynes makes the world's coolest solar-powered musical rubbish bins in South Africa. The eco-minded entrepreneur first heard about bins being used as mobile music kiosks at parties in Australia and got permission to create his own back home. Made from durable plastic and fitted with a solar panel, a car battery, an inverter, as well as a series of speakers and an amplifier that gives the improbable thing musical wings, these jamming mobile units are the perfect party starter. But it didn't take Baynes long to realize that they can also empower the country's less fortunate communities. Check out our video after the jump to see the bin in action.
Sunplugged solar-powered bins are mobile, relatively lightweight, and easily adapted to different functions. The completed prototype featured in this post has a solar panel fitted to the lid of the heavy duty rubbish bin and a car battery that is hooked up to an inverter that converts the battery’s DC current into a 220V AC electrical current that can power household appliances.
Although these bins make really cool roving music boxes, Baynes is currently working on another prototype which can be wheeled to different townships and used as a cellular phone charging station or to sell goods that aren’t easily accessible in rural areas. The first bin cost just over $1,000 to build – something Baynes recognizes to be unsustainable for small business owners – so he hopes to halve the price with the next generation.
Be sure to check out the end of the video clip to get a sense of how well designed Sunplugged bins are. The music comes through loud and clear and everyone who drove or walked by was inspired to either slow down or stop to take a closer look. Warren is working feverishly with a partner to bring both music and hope to South African communities; we think he stands a really good chance of making it happen!