The Better India

Watch Out: Bengaluru’s Waste Collectors May Soon Click Pictures of Your Trash and Rate It!


Bengalureans, don’t be surprised if you soon see pourakarmikas collecting waste at your doorsteps, clicking pictures and rating it!

The Waste Samaritan initiative is a door-to-door waste monitoring solution undertaken as a pilot project in Domlur Layout’s ward number 112, with the support of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike.

Source: Facebook

The plan is the brainchild of design students who won the Reimagine Waste hackathon held at the Centre for Product Management and Design at the Indian Institute of Science in April 2016.

Under the initiative, the waste collectors used a mobile app and geotagged 250 households, to rate the level of segregation. Unique QR codes were allotted based on property IDs. Over 152 QR codes were strictly monitored.

“When we started out, a majority of the 250 households did not segregate properly. Even if they separated paper and plastic as dry waste, they would be putting wet waste in plastic bin liners,” said Wisvesh B.S, from the team that developed the solution, told The Hindu.

Initially surprised at their household waste being clicked and rated, the residents started following the rules of segregation more strictly. Three months was all it took for over 188 households of a total 250 households in ward number 112 to achieve 100% segregation.

All thanks to the Waste Samaritan initiative.


Read more: Clean Water out of Wastewater? This Bengaluru Scientist’s Innovation Can Actually Do That!

If the segregation was up to mark, they would get a rating of five stars, while using a plastic bin liner to put wet waste would scale it down to four stars. So, the initiative has helped raise awareness among citizens.

With the pilot nearing its end, more than 75% high quality segregation was successfully achieved. The students are confident that the model could be scaled up and implemented across the city, to ease waste management issues.

The BBMP may soon launch its own Shuchi Mitra app, working along the lines of the Waste Samaritan initiative.Joint Commissioner of Solid Waste Management, BBMP, Sarfaraz Khan, said, “The Shuchi Mitra app will show precisely how much waste is generated and collected from each household. The software is ready and once we get all systems in place such as biometric attendance for pourakarmikas and GPS-enabled collection vehicles, we will be able to launch it in a big way.”

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