Every time you cross an area with an open garbage dump, you would, most often, cringe with disgust, guard your nose, turn your eyes and walk away.
But, Kabir Udeshi was not one to do this.
A mechanical engineer with a PhD from the University of Michigan, USA, he chose to confront and solve the issue.
Speaking to The Better India, he shares how seven years ago, such a seemingly ordinary experience near Shivaji Park, Mumbai, changed his life.
He begins, “The stench coming from a nearby open dump was a bother which I couldn’t ignore. I found myself scrutinising the cause, as it was linked to the way garbage was disposed of. It set my Project ‘Dedko’ in motion, and after two years, it was ready.”
However, it wasn’t easy even for Kabir, who, apart from holding a doctorate, has had a rich experience in the field. The challenge was in making it convenient and easy for anyone to use.
After a series of trial and errors, he eventually perfected the Dedko under his company, Flycatcher Technologies in 2014.
A Gujarati word meaning ‘frog’, Dedko’s mechanism of storing gas which results in its expansion, replicates the natural phenomenon where a frog expands the size of its throat. This machine was named Dedko in Vadodara, where Kabir has his laboratory.
As per the mechanism, Dedko’s cylindrical structure grounds all biodegradable waste into a paste, to eventually turn into biogas, which is also used for cooking in the kitchen.
Thanks to his invention, Kabir’s house has been an almost zero-waste entity for the past five years. While their dry waste is given to the ragpickers, all the wet biodegradable waste is processed into biogas, which is utilised in the kitchen.
Also, as a by-product, the machine produces liquid fertiliser, which has a separate outlet and can be used for home plants.
The Dedko, which costs Rs 25,000, also has a larger version called the Rhino, used for housing societies, institutions etc. The price of this bigger version varies between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 22 lakh, depending on its capacity, informs Kabir.
With the demand for the same rising, Kabir is also planning to launch a do-it-yourself or a simplistic version of the product, online.
“It should be less of a hassle for households so that it can be used properly on the push of a button. The simplification is important for it to reach the masses,” he concludes.
With waste management becoming one of the most pressing issues in the country, such an invention of an affordable and convenient waste digester for the masses shows a step towards positive and sustainable change.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)