Watching the growing waste disposal problem, two Hyderabadi lads Chanakya Basa and Manikanth have come up with a unique initiative to solve issues pertaining to urban waste management. The duo, who graduated from Jindal Global Law School in Sonipa, founded Rekarmate, a public service initiative which seeks to rid cities of landfills, child labour involved in the collection and dumping process as well as fight against the unscientific treatment of waste.
One of the main reasons for this proliferation of landfills is our inability to segregate waste. The segregation of waste is among the Solid Waste Management Rules issued by the Government of India under its flagship Swachh Bharat Abhiyan scheme in 2016. According to the SWMR, all waste generators, including households, must segregate their waste into three categories – dry waste (plastic, paper, wood, metal), domestic hazardous waste (sanitary napkins, cleaning agents, diapers) and biodegradables – before they hand over their garbage bins to local collectors.
The reason most of the waste ends up in landfills is because we do not segregate it. Households often mix kitchen waste with discarded paper, plastic, glass and other hazardous e-waste. Thus, the task of managing this mixed waste is a lot more challenging for the municipal government. In a bid to spread awareness about waste segregation and promote its use, the Rekarmate Mission has come up with a unique solution called Wi-Fi Dustbins inaugurated this month by Hyderabad mayor Bonthu Rammohan.
Interestingly, Rekarmate is bringing two prominent national campaigns Swachh Bharat and Digital India onto a single platform through this wifi-bin campaign.
How does this work?
Step 1: identify a nearby Rekarmate facility, turn on WiFi on your phone and connect to ‘Rekarmate-1’. A web browser opens.
Step-2: Now, you identify the waste and drop it in the designated bin. For dry waste, you use the blue bin, and for wet waste, you use the green bin.
Step-3: Once you drop the waste in the bin, a four-digit code is displayed on the LED screen. You enter the four-digit code on the web browser on your phone and sign in/sign up to get uninterrupted access to the internet for the next 45 minutes.
There are two sensors inside each bin. When you dump the waste inside the bin, the sensors track that movement and they generate a code on the screen. The user enters this code in the captive portal. If the codes match, you get access to the internet for the next 45 minutes.
This initiative is a real attempt at raising awareness about waste segregation in Hyderabad during the ongoing Swachh Survekshan 2018, which is an annual survey conducted by the Centre ranking the cleanest 500 cities in India. The larger goal here is to educate and spread awareness, which our cities sorely need. Two local boys in Hyderabad have decided to their part. Now, it’s time for us to step in and do our part!
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