Free your house and neighbourhood from the menace of growing waste with these apps that have revolutionised waste management in India.
If you’re tired of seeing garbage piling up on your street, all you have to do is click a picture and send it to the local municipal corporation on WhatsApp. To reach out to a larger number of people, civic bodies of various towns and cities in India have enabled citizens to reach them directly through WhatsApp. For instance, in Delhi, government officials urge citizens to report through WhatsApp anyone who burns waste and causes pollution. Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation has five officials dedicated to solving waste management problems sent to them by citizens through the app. It’s the same scene in Goa, where officials receive around six complaints a week.
When it comes to cleaning up your house, you can sell all kinds of recyclable materials (like newspapers) and non-biodegradable plastic, and get rid of old useless phones, all through the click of a button. Here are five other apps that are spearheading change in the waste management system in India:
Pom Pom Trash to Cash
Delhi-based Pom Pom, founded by Deepak Sethi and Kishore Thakur, gives the kabaddiwala concept a digital twist. You can sell anything that is even remotely recyclable through this app (also available on iOS), and set a price per kilogram for it. Set up a request, and a team from Pom Pom will come to collect it, and weigh the trash using an electronic scale. They’ll pay on the spot, and you never have to hoard waste again. They send off the waste to industries that collect such waste to recycle and reuse. Currently, the service is available only in Delhi.
Schedule an e-waste pick-up with Ecolekt if you are not sure what you want to do with your old laptops or phones. Bengaluru based company JoGiv (short for Joy of Giving) launched an app that is aimed at sustainably managing the rising e-waste problem in the city. Out of a study that the team conducted, it emerged that most citizens were unaware about how to deal with electronic waste such as phones or batteries, while some found the lack of e-waste collection systems a hindrance. The app raises awareness about e-waste services, while also educating users about the dangers of neglecting e-waste.
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In 2015, a group of five 14-year-old girls coded a revolutionary app called Sellixo that won them Rs 6.4 lakhs at the Technovation Challenge that year. Through this app, you can sell your dry waste (such as paper, metal or plastic) and get paid for it. If you’re a dealer in waste, you can also buy through this app. The girls, Anupama N, Sanjana Vasanth, Mahima Mehendale, Navyasree B and Swasthi P Rao, all from Bengaluru, said that the app is still a prototype, but is available on the Android Playstore. They will take over control of the app once they finish school, and also plan to add more features, like regional languages, and biomedical waste and e-waste categories.
Similar to Pom Pom, Encashea was founded in 2015 and is based in Bengaluru. They tie up with vendors who buy scrap, and lists the prices on the app. They have a free doorstep service in select areas of the city. Their vehicle travels around these areas collecting scrap and waste. You have to pre-book the service, and select a time from the available slots.
Swachh Delhi & I Clean India
Following Prime Minister Modi’s Swachh Bharat campaign announcement in 2014, many developers came up with apps to support the campaign. Through Swachh Delhi, developed in association with NGO Janaagraha, you can report cases of garbage dumping, which the corporation will take care of. I Clean India, on the other hand, is more citizen action oriented. Through this app, you can connect with other people to join hands for a cleanliness drive on a particular spot. Janaagraha also developed an app called Swachh City Solutions, which is due to release some time this year. According to NDTV, citizens can report cleanliness issues under different categories in this app, and they will be given a time frame in which the issue will be resolved.