Waste collection and management is critical to any city. Traditionally, garbage trucks take rounds around Thimphu to collect waste from different areas. Delayed trucks and excess garbage causes bins to overflow, pollutes the area and attracts pathogens. This severely impacts public health. Smart Bin aims to tackle these problems by introducing a compression technology right at the source of the trash.
Smart Bin is a trash compactor that uses battery power. It reads a waste bin’s fill-level in real-time using an ultrasonic sensor that triggers automatic waste compaction. This will effectively increases the bin’s capacity by up to 3-8 times, and reduce collection frequency by up to 80%. Once the bin is full, the bin sends a text to a given number along with the location of the bin. The bins will be a WiFi supported module and will send a signal to a central system in the future. This will then route the most efficient collection route.
This new technology will have several benefits:
The product initially targets city municipal corporations, airports, and tourist hotspots that have a set budget for upkeep. In the second phase, it will target offices, colleges, hotels, and other areas that generate a lot of waste. Once the technology is ready, the team will produce smaller Smart Bins for individual homes.
The Smart Bin project kicked off two weeks before the DHI TechHack weekend. Prior to the weekend, the team created a 3D-design of the product and studied the mechanism on Fusion360. They also worked on the coding on Arduino, conducted a market survey to study the problem further, and decided on the materials for the prototype. During the 48-hour long hackathon, the team developed the prototype, completed coding for the project, and worked on the presentation.
The Smart Bin pilot project will be tested in certain key areas in partnership with Innotech. Once they have feedback from the pilot project, the product will be refined for commercialization. Features will be added to the MVP over time, including automatic segregation and disinfection using UV light.