IIT Madras-incubated Startup Develops ‘Smart Bin System’ to prevent COVID-19 Spread

Chennai: Indian Institute of Technology Madras-incubated Startup Antariksh Waste Ventures has developed an IoT-enabled ‘Smart Bin System’ to prevent the spread COVID-19 through waste generated at CVPs (Contagion Vulnerable points – primarily Hospitals, Clinics, Public Bins, Quarantine Zones).

Called ‘AirBin,’ It enables remote monitoring of waste accumulation levels and clearances through IoT systems. This smart bin system can be retrofitted on to existing garbage bins on nearby poles, walls or the bin lids.

The objective is to help rural and urban local bodies clear every bin before it overflows and accelerate sustainability. This innovative product is on track to hit the market in around five months. Antariksh aims to supply first 200 AirBin devices across India in next few months with long-term plans to deliver 100,000 units for 100 Smart cities in India.

Highlighting the requirement for Smart technologies in waste disposal, Mr. Mahek Mahendra Shah, Founder of Antariksh Waste Ventures Pvt Ltd, said, “Waste management processes will play a key role in containing contagion at public or private spaces. From 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 shortage of labor.”

Further, Mr. Shah added, “Remote waste levels monitoring, smarter pickups, skill development with good protection gear for Sanitation teams, educating citizens on best sanitation practices, will be some of the key elements driving this industry forward, in the coming months.”

This Digital Waste Management System can 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 Start-up is supported by the IIT Madras Incubation Cell.

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

Highlighting the role of IIT Madras Incubation Cell in supporting startups that are contributing to Nation’s efforts against COVID-19, Dr. Tamaswati Ghosh, Chief Executive Officer, IIT Madras Incubation Cell, said, “We are very proud of our startups who are working on a range of products that are vital to India’s fight against COVID-19 – from N95 masks, intubation boxes and ventilators to affordable testing kits. They have quickly mobilized and repurposed their offerings in response to the situation and are striving to make a positive contribution to the nation’s anti-virus efforts. IITM Incubation Cell continues to assist its startups through these challenging times and hopes that industry support will help them ramp up their efforts in a more meaningful way.”

Only 28 per cent 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.

Using the AirBin Smart Bin Systems will make it easier to:

Ø Remotely monitor waste levels in bins,

Ø Get timely alerts when bins are getting filled up,

Ø Plan and improve waste management process for speedier collection, transportation and disposal,

Ø Get automated cumulative reports of waste clearances and estimated waste generated by categories of wastes, locations, priority, among others,

Ø Update concerned sanitation teams with status of bin levels periodically, and

Ø Update concerned recycler or incinerator for scheduling pickup of waste or route optimization for best pickup route, if across multiple clinics.

Antariksh Waste Ventures Pvt Ltd was one of 10 start-ups that qualified for the finals of ‘Qualcomm Design in India Challenge 2019’ and is on ‘The Economic Times – 50 startups to Watch out for in 2020’ list.