Antariksh Waste Ventures — a start-up incubated by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras — aims to make the waste management and disposal system more efficient. Towards this, it is working to digitise the waste management ecosystem by using the Internet of Things (IoT).
Started by IIT Madras alumnus Mahek M Shah, the company focuses on designing and developing IoT-powered smart garbage bins. The start-up has developed Airbin, a garbage bin equipped with IoT module that helps it to identify when the bin is about to get completely filled and then notify the stakeholders (residents, sanitation workers or municipal authorities) through an app installed in smartphones.
The garbage bins are connected with sensors and IoT modules that keep track of the load and garbage levels in the bin. When the bin reaches its maximum capacity, the sensors send signals to the IoT module, which subsequently alerts users through the Airbin app, and the sanitation workers of the area get notifications to clear the garbage immediately, said Shah.
The company installed these bins on a pilot basis in Valmiki Nagar in Chennai with the help of the city municipal corporation and has received a good response. “The authorities were happy with our work as they were able to monitor the garbage disposal more efficiently,” said Shah. Antariksh has been incubated at the IIT Madras incubation cell since 2018. The firm recently won the ‘Qualcomm Design in India Challenge’ and received an amount of $10,000.
According to Shah, the system helps in checking the overflowing of garbage bins and also streamlines the garbage collection system. Besides, the app addresses the need of different stakeholders in waste management.
While the app can be used to empower sanitation workers and ease up their job, the citizens in the locality can use it to air their grievances about the waste management and contribute in better monitoring of the garbage disposal system.
The app enables the residents to track the arrival of sanitation workers at their doorsteps for garbage collection, while the administrative and sanitation officers can get real-time updates on waste disposal and waste-mapping, and improve their services accordingly.
The app can also be used by the administration as an attendance system for the sanitation workers and to review their daily work, Shah said.