Digitising waste management to enable effective waste management ecosystem in Chennai


Indian societies have an all-time persistent problem with respect to the overflowing bins. There is always a lot of waste in the vicinity which is not properly disposed. This calls for an efficient waste disposal system where sanitation workers would be alerted whenever the bin is full. This calls for efficient waste management from civic bodies and citizens. Mahek Mahendra Shah through her startup called Airbin has helped transformed a regular municipal dustbin into a smart bin, which will identify when the bin is completely full and then make the residents, sanitation workers and municipal authorities aware through an app.

Mahek Shah has also developed SwachhBharatApp.com at the time of launch of Swacch Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. This app allowed for citizens to click pictures related to civic problems to report civic bodies. The app helped in identifying the key problems and improper disposal of waste was one of them. This led to the creation of an IoT based smart bin technology that would notify the civic authorities by sending real-time information to cloud of the amount of waste collected. The technology works using two components sensors and IoT module. Combinations of sensors are attached to the bin which would help keep track of the amount of waste collected. The IoT module, which comprises of microchip, is also fitted in the bin and receives and sends data through wireless technology. After the bins are full, the sensor will send signals to IoT module, which in turn alerts users through Airbin app. The sanitation workers are notified that the bin in the particular area needs to be cleared. The citizens are alerted one hour prior to the time of collection of garbage.

The company Antariksh provides its own built-in-IoT powered bins. The Airbin uses two smart technologies-NB-IoT and LoRa.The app also helps in monitoring the attendance of the sanitation workers and sanitation supervisors can review daily works, tasks and reports. The city administrators and public representatives have access to equipment planning and review, metrics on the contractors work on a weekly basis, can initiate skill development programs based on localities and their usage patterns, change monthly charges based on citizens usage patterns etc. The app claims that digitising waste management ecosystem would generate job potential for 500,000 in India. Antariksh is conducting a pilot project in Chennai. The Chennai City Chief Resilience officer, Krishna Mohan Ramachandran has partnered with Antariksh in smart bins deployment plan to deal with waste management in an effective manner.

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