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IIT Madras start-up develops smart dustbin system to prevent COVID-19 spread


Press Trust of India New Delhi
An IIT-incubated start-up has developed a 'smart bin system' to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through waste generated at hospitals, clinics, public places and quarantine zones.
Called 'AirBin', the system developed by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Madras enables remote monitoring of waste accumulation levels through smart phone. The system can be retrofitted on to existing garbage bins on nearby poles, walls or the bin lids.
According to start-up "Antariksh", the 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.
"While we are dealing with the spread of COVID-19, hazardous waste is being generated in hospitals, quarantine zones or red zone areas within cities. They are potential sources of coronavirus 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 COVID-19," said Mahek Mahendra Shah, a Mechanical Engineering graduate from the institute.
"The objective is to help rural and urban local bodies clear every bin before it overflows and accelerate sustainability. The product is likely to hit market in five months. We will supply first 200 AirBin devices across India in next few months with long-term plans to deliver 1,00,000 units for 100 Smart Cities in India," he added.
The team claims that 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.
"The system will enable clearing waste bins before they overflow. 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 can play a vital role in this transformation. Timely cleaning of bins will be a key priority while faced with shortage of labour," Shah said.
"Remote waste levels monitoring, smarter pickups, skill development with good protection gear for sanitation teams, educating citizens on best sanitation practices, will be among must follow practices in coming months," he added.
The death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 872 and the number of cases climbed to 27,892 in the country on Monday, according to the Union Health Ministry.
The number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 20,835 while 6,184 people were cured and discharged, and one patient has migrated, the ministry said.
The total number of cases include 111 foreign nationals.

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First Published: Apr 27 2020 | 4:14 PM IST

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