Technology platform to empower waste pickers

Technology platform to empower waste pickers

In a bid to improve the livelihood and working conditions of waste pickers and to integrate them into mainstream economy, a group of engineers from Mindtree has come up with an innovative technology platform called ‘I Got Garbage’.

Operational for the past one year, the platform offers various services to waste pickers, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Citizen Engagement Platform, Waste Management Services Marketplace, and a Ragpicker Benefits Tracker among others. A team of 60 engineers developed the cloud-based platform, which is now in use at municipalities across the country, including the BBMP.

The platform also brings together people and communities through activities such as ‘Trip to a Dry Waste Collection Centre’ (DWCC). Under the ‘Hire a ragpicker’ option, apartments and offices can hire waste pickers to collect dry/wet waste. Dry waste is transported to local DWCCs, where it is segregated and sent for recycling. Wet waste is turned into compost.

Chief Architect, Social Inclusion (I Got Garbage), Prashant Mehra said it took the team more than six months to develop the platform. 

“There are more than ten apps such as the volunteer app, supervisor app, waste-collector, waste picker registration and waste audit, that can be downloaded via Google Playstore,” he said.

More than 8,000 waste pickers and one lakh waste generators are part of the initiative now. The BBMP, Daily Dump, Hasiru Dala and a host of other like-minded organisations are associated with the platform.

Srikrishna Balachandran, head of operations at I Got Garbage, said: “I Got Garbage aims to launch operations in 50 Indian cities by the end of 2016. We have more than 5,000 ragpickers on board. Our vision is to have all the City’s ragpickers associated with us to create a structured workforce.” The team also runs a website http://www.igotgarbage.com/

Garbage diariesAn interesting component on the website is ‘The garbage diaries’ that informs readers about an array of waste management topics such as tips to a plastic-free lifestyle, community composting ways and managing dry waste among others. 

The site also enables users to play an ‘I Got No Garbage’ interactive quiz to know their waste score and the amount of garbage they generate in their households.

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