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From trash to cash

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Students from Sandip Polytechnic have come up with an effective way to get the community to participate in waste disposal

Waste management is becoming a serious concern for many nations; we are producing waste at rates faster than we know what to do with it. Of course, the first step of waste management should be getting it off the roads and into the dumpsters. With this, and PM Narendra Modi’s call to action through the Swachh Bharat (Clean India) Mission, in mind, five students from Sandip Polytechnic came up with a way to incentivise waste disposal and make India’s streets litter-free.

Elegant solution

Their premise is simple yet effective — throw your garbage into their smart dustbins, instead of just around it, and get rewarded with coupons and/or cash. They named their product KRRYP GarbageATM. “KRRYP expands to our initials — Krithika, Rahul, Rushikesh, Yash and Praksh,” says Yash Gupta, one of the team members. The students devised and worked on the project while pursuing their diplomas in electrical engineering, which they recently completed.

It took the students about seven months to implement the prototype, while balancing their studies. Their time spent on the project was not without struggle. “We had to do a lot of complex coding for this project. Also, equipment with good accuracy wasn’t easily available in Maharashtra,” says team member Prakash Sonawane.

Rushikesh Kasar, his teammate, explains the working of the smart dustbin. You get rewarded not only for trash disposed, but also based on your general knowledge (GK). “Our system consists of two bins – A and B, an LCD display screen and an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) reader. Users will be given a card, which must be swiped first. They are then shown their details as read by the RFID reader. The screen displays a GK question, with two possible answers, A and B. The individual then chooses which bin to dump the garbage, based on what they think is the correct answer.”

Yash continues, “Then, they will get points added to their card, based on amount of garbage disposed, and whether they answered correctly. They can use the points on their cards to recharge their phones or for other shopping purposes.”

So far, the students have presented their GarbageATM prototype at various competitions in Maharashtra and Delhi, and have received a positive response. Says Rahul Patil, team member, “People are eagerly waiting for this project to be fully implemented so that they can earn something and dispose of their garbage properly at the same time. We are searching for sponsors to help us implement our project in major Indian cities as early as possible.”

So far, the students say, they have participated in 15 competitions in and around Maharashtra and won prizes at 12 of them. The team was placed third in the ‘Narsee Monjee Award for Best Project work done by Polytechnic Students in Maharashtra State’ category, at the International Society for Technology in Education Conference and Expo 2016.

Rahul signs off, “We are planning for an improvement where it will separate different kinds of waste also. Soon you all will see our KRRYP GarbageATM at public places like railway station, bus stands, airport and so on.”

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 11:26:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/from-trash-to-cash/article19697771.ece

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