Written bySiddhant Pandey ·
An IIT-Madras graduate's start-up is all set to make your garbage collection smart.
Mahek Mahendra Shah's start-up, Antariksh Waste Ventures, has developed 'Airbin,' a smart garbage bin that lets sanitary workers know when the bin is full, informs locals about the workers' arrival and even lets you tip them, all through a smartphone app.
Here are more details about this groundbreaking technology.
According to The Times of India, Shah's 'Airbin' uses Internet of things (IoT)-based smart bin technology.
Speaking about how the system works, Shah said that the garbage bins are fitted with an IoT module- a microchip used to send and receive data through wireless tech- along with sensors, which indicate when the bin is full to senior officials to avoid overflow.
"Our technology can be fitted to an existing bin or to a fiberglass bin we have designed," Shah said.
"The module is based on Lora, a low-power, long-range communication technology. Since it uses less power, the modules can last for 110 days before batteries can be changed," he added.
Meanwhile, when the bin needs to be cleared, the app sends an alert to stakeholders.
Along with citizens and sanitary workers, the app also connects civic officials and recycling units. Additionally, the app creates awareness on waste segregation at its source for citizens, and informs sanitary workers about the safety precautions while handling waste.
Notably, Shah said that he conceived the idea while working on another app.
In 2014, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Shah developed the app, which allowed users to click photos of civic problems, and an auto-generated tweet would then tag the PMO.
Shah said around 75% of the tweets were related to overflowing bins, which motivated him.
Although 'Airbin' is still in its testing phase, Antariksh is conducting a pilot test in Thiruvanmiyur, South Chennai. Shah told The Better India that during their experiments, they ascertained that the sensors in the bins can withstand extreme heat and humidity.
"We're working with municipalities to get standard timings. In the pilot that we're doing now, we know the approximate schedules for clearing garbage," Mahek told The Hindu.
Antariksh will then decide the optimum time to send alerts to citizens, an hour before the sanitary workers' arrival.
Shah also spoke to citizens, conservancy workers, and administrators in Warangal, Hyderabad, and Chennai to understand the system.
Antariksh was established in December 2017 and incubated with IIT-Madras Incubation Cell next month.
However, his first venture was a failure.
After graduating from IIT-M, he worked at a derivatives trading company, and later developed an e-commerce start-up. It shuttered after 18 months.
He then attained an MBA from Italy, and after a brief stint as product manager at a Hyderabad company, founded Antariksh.
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