Fourth year Polytechnic of Malawi Business Information System student, Samson Fiado has designed a working model of waste bin that alerts relevant personnel on the levels of wastes in the bins via a mobile phone or a monitoring center.
Dubbed “EasyBin”, it is a smart waste bin which is interactive, meaning to say that it can be asked questions and respond (e.g. what is your waste level? And the bin will respond by sending the level of waste in percentage).
According to Fiado, the design uses wireless communication to send data from the individual waste bins to the central monitoring area.
Speaking to Mana on Saturday, Fiado said the EasyBin would minimize overflow of wastes by ensuring that the relevant personnel know beforehand the levels of wastes in waste bins.
He explained: “I thought of designing the system upon noticing poor waste disposal and waste bins full to the brim and many overflow of wastes in waste bins in key areas of the society in Malawi e.g. health centers, towns and cities. I want the waste bins to be taken care of as soon as they are full and also planning should be done as early as possible to avoid overflow of wastes in bins.”
The Polytechnic student faults the current waste bin manual checking system, saying it is not effective.
“This way of managing wastes in bins has proved to be inadequate, cumbersome process, utilizes more human effort, time and cost. Due to this, most of the times the wastes are scattered due to the fullness of the bins since there is fixed time in waste collection by the relevant authorities.
“In addition, the current way of waste detection, monitoring and collection does not provide optimized route for waste collection and does not help in deciding what particular transportation resource to use (e.g. the size of the vehicle as well as the number of the vehicles) and the relevant authorities are not sure of how many waste bins to put in a specific area based on the interval of fullness of bins,” Fiado elaborated.
He then appealed to interested organizations/institutions to provide financial support for further development of the prototype and its implementation stage as it is the technology which can help curb the challenges of poor waste disposal due to delayed waste collection and also it is a technology which Malawi can export to other countries.
Apart from some other concerns with environment in Malawi, solid waste management has been the greatest concern which in addition to disturbing the balance of the environment also has adverse effects on the health and economy of the society. The detection, monitoring and waste management is one of the primary problems in the country.
Efforts by different stake holders are being applied to make sure that there is proper waste management but from the looks of things, there is a high need of an innovative way of monitoring the wastes in the waste bins to ensure that they are taken care of as soon as the waste bin is full.