Coronavirus: IIT-supported start-up develops smart bin

IIT-supported start-up develops smart bin system to prevent coronavirus

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An IoT-enabled ‘Smart Bin System’ to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through waste generated at Contagion Vulnerable points (CVPs) like hospitals, clinics, public bins, and quarantine zones has been developed a start-up incubated by the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M).

Called AirBins, the system, remotely monitors waste levels and generates alerts for expeditious disposal through mobile applications and can be retrofitted into existing bins as well.

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Developed by Antariksh Waste Ventures, a start-up incubated by the prestigious institution, the AirBins will hit the market in the next five months. The company also has long-term plans to deliver 100,000 units for 100 Smart cities in India.

Since the smart bin system can be retrofitted on to existing garbage bins on nearby poles, walls or the bin lids, it would help local bodies in urban and rural areas to clear every bin before it overflows and accelerate sustainability.

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“Waste management processes will play a key role in containing contagion in public or private spaces. From the waste collection, transport, segregation, disposal to recycling, every process needs to be overhauled quickly and technology will play a vital role in this transformation. Timely cleaning of bins will be a key priority while faced with a shortage of labour,” Mahek Mahendra Shah, Founder of Antariksh Waste Ventures Pvt Ltd, said.

The AirBins can also generate alerts to sanitation teams at regular intervals on fill levels and on-demand clearance requests from end-users, for faster disposal of contagious waste. Antariksh Waste Ventures Pvt Ltd was one of 10 start-ups that qualified for the finals of ‘Qualcomm Design in India Challenge 2019’.

 Noting that hazardous waste being generated in hospitals, quarantine zones or red zone areas within cities are potential sources of COVID-19 and can cause further spread within the locality, the company says this makes timely clean-up of bins vital along with other best practices for disinfection to prevent further spread of the virus.

Only 28 percent of the waste generated in India is recycled and various studies found that the waste generated in the country was doubling every five years. Antariksh Waste Ventures aims to clear waste bins before they overflow by digitizing waste management processes.