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IoT helps Telangana automate urban waste recycling operations


Digitising waste management processes is one of the priorities for any state government developmental programme. A first of its kind by any state government, the Telangana government has decided to formalise the waste management process in a move to automate urban recycling operations for smart cities. The state government, in association with waste management start-up called Banyan Nation, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to deploy technology across different municipalities and help in waste management.

Banyan Nation has developed a zero-waste platform to automate urban recycling operations as part of the Smart Cities Mission. Its first pilot project, currently in beta stage in Warangal district, deploys on-field bin sensors, GPS truck routers, landfill management toolkits and back-end visualisation and analytic engines to monitor and synchronise waste management. Driving the dual agenda of Swachh Bharat and Smart Cities,, Banyan Sustainable Waste Management (Banyan Nation) was incubated at T-Hub Foundation, Hyderabad.

“We are positive about the viability and applicability of our product in Warangal and once we taste success, we are all set to replicate the same in other districts of Telangana,” says Mani Vajipey, co-founder and CEO, Banyan Nation. The start-up was recently announced as the winner of the Intel and DST Innovate for Digital India Challenge 2.0 for developing a zero-waste platform based on an Intel Edison board for Arduino, the Intel IoT analytics platform and the Intel powered Jan Unnati tablet to streamline and automate urban recycling operations.

Combining informatics and hardware engineering, Banyan Nation’s management system aims to root out bottlenecks in India’s recycling value chain. To manage the 62 million tonnes of municipal waste generated annually in India, Banyan Nation has developed a modular system, customisable to the requirements of different municipalities and third-party system integrators. Explaining the cost-benefit for municipalities, Vajipey, who is looking to raise Rs 3 crore and is in talks with investors for this, says that the project in Warangal has shown about 75% rise in attendance of waste management workers while the fuel cost of trucks has come down by 40%.

“As India forges ahead as a global innovator, harnessing citizen potential and ideation has become indispensable to releasing new services and solutions back into the Indian economy,” says Prakash Mallya, managing director, sales and marketing group, Intel Technology India. With the ministry of electronics and information technology’s recent proposal to integrate Internet of Things (IoT) in waste management under the Smart Cities Mission, there is immense potential for sensor-enabled devices to transform waste disposal. Banyan Nation has also developed ‘Better Plastic’, a high-grade plastic made from recycled material. By leveraging its platform that connects the demand for recycled plastic with its supply, Banyan Nation aims to formalise the recycling sector by closing the loop between industry and waste aggregators.

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