Waste management India

Waste management India
Minor International Entrepreneurship & Development 2017

Bangalore, India

Ghislaine van Laar
Siebren Veraart
Pepijn Hassan
Joris Schouten

Project goal
Our goal is to study the current waste system in Bangalore and suggest improvements aimed at optimization and simplification by connecting all different aspects of the waste collecting infrastructure. In general, we will assist Sweepsmart® with integrating TU Delft knowledge into their projects.

The main goal of our time in India is to execute an Interaction Design project. This implies that we will design an application that maps the waste trail in Bangalore. This application should assist in every link within the waste trail and collect and store all possible data.

Problem Analysis
Waste is a huge problem all over the world and especially in big growing cities as Bangalore. Due to the illegal dumping of waste, mixed with mass untreated sewage in Bangalore, experts fear the city will be uninhabitable by 2025[1].

Currently almost all the waste in India is landfilled, which causes big problems. The first problem is the environmental impact. For instance groundwater pollution and stench discomfort. Secondly, Bangalore keeps producing more and more waste, without improving their waste processing abilities. So the landfills will keep growing until there simply isn’t enough space in the city to landfill it. Another problem, which is less obvious, is that the waste still has a certain value that isn’t used when it’s landfilled. If we improve the waste sorting facilities, we can recycle most of the waste and thus utilize its value.

Even when the problem is recognized, it is said that the waste picking community is still very underdeveloped. Also, the current waste pickers have a highly fluctuating income and no basic income which they can rely on. By optimizing the waste sorting facilities, the waste pickers will have a more stable income and better working conditions.

By clarifying the waste trail and the different aspect in an app, we think the whole waste system should be better regulated. This could contribute to cleaner streets, better working conditions for all people working in this sector and better living conditions for the local residents.

Structure & Planning
The project consists of the following components:

  • The define phase
    • By means of research we will define and validate users’ (waste pickers, households and municipalities) needs and preferences, which will be translated into Interaction Design requirements.
  • The conceptualize phase
    • By means of design principles and lo-fi and hi-fi prototyping techniques we will explore, test and communicate several design directions.
  • The demonstrate phase
    • By means of usability testing we will evaluate the most promising concept, make iterations and provide and demonstrate a final design.

Firstly, we are going to make a promotional/educational video about Sweepsmart®. We’ll share this video on all social media to give Sweepsmart® more brand awareness in the media. This will also be the best way for us to get to know the company in as little time as possible. Secondly, there will be an investigation on site to study and experience the current way of working. Then we will do research on the current platform and the way in which households are being informed about the waste picking system. Apart from this investigation, there will also be a literature research on this case. As a result of the research part, we will come up with a “persona”, an interaction scenario, a user experience vision, a hierarchical task analysis and user task flows.

After the investigation has been completed, we will individually start with ideation sketches in wireframes for the app lay-out. Next, we will make paper prototypes. After that, hi-fi prototypes in the form of touchscreen interfaces will be made. All of these concept parts will be peer-reviewed by ourselves and the feedback will contribute to the next conceptualize part. At the end of this phase we will choose the most promising concept.

At the end we will conduct a usability evaluation plan. This plan consists of an evaluation goal, a setup, a protocol, user tasks, test measures and an analysis plan. When this is done, we will do research again by conducting user tests with our target groups. From the outcomes of these tests we will make iterations to our final concept and provide an extensive final app design, which can be delivered to the local app developer.

At first we’ll make the video of Sweepsmart® with the whole team. This way we’ll have some time to get to know the facilities, the country and its culture and get a strong connection with our group. Then we’ll divide the group into two teams, one team will focus on the layout and interface of the app and the other team will focus on the business plan of the project. This implies the way our product, the app, will be implemented in the current waste system and how it becomes a commercial product.

The task division is merely implemented to allow for easy overview and allowing one person to keep a close eye on the tasks that have to be done. During the first few weeks we’ll decide whether or not it is useful to mix the groups after a while. It might be effective to get a different view on what we have worked on so far. So everyone will get their own task to work on, but generally speaking everyone will be involved in each aspect.

Risks & Contingencies
Due to the drastic change in environment, health and safety may be a serious risk in India. Prior to departing appointments have been made to receive the appropriate vaccinations and medication as well as a lecture on safety and culture differences. Additionally, due to the fact that we are working with garbage, extra care must be taken with hazardous and dangerous trash. At the location precautions can be taken to ensure personal safety by not travelling alone, to certain areas and so on. Furthermore, the university has subsidized a travelling insurance and the students are expected to arrange their own medical and liability insurance.

Currently the aim is to develop an app for smartphones that can promote the waste sorting business. With this aim, there will be a time spent in the field which might not go as expected. This would be due to a different culture, that may make it difficult to communicate efficiently and a different set of resources available than in the Netherlands.

Deliverables & continuation
Each phase will result in a comprehensive report. At the end, to conclude the project a final report and presentation will be made that will allow the knowledge to be passed onto the next group. The report will be a detailed description of the process including detailed research, all our activities, results and performances and background information. It may be useful in upscaling the project in diverse locations and expanding the team.


Bhasthi, D. (2017, March 01). City of burning lakes: experts fear Bangalore will be uninhabitable by 2025. Retrieved September 27, 2017, from www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/mar/01/burning-lakes-experts-fear-bangalore-uninhabitable-2025

Ghislaine van Laar, Siebren Veraart, Pepijn Hassan and Joris Schouten

The main goal during our time in India was to make the waste handling industry in Bangalore more efficient. To realize this, we executed an Interaction Design (IxD) project. This implied designing applications to support the new waste collection service (Door2Door collection) and the software system for the Smart Waste Centers.

Sweepsmart is a company that aims to increase the waste handling capacity of the dry waste centers in Bangalore and to improve the Door2Door collection of waste at the households. In our three months we designed smart waste center (SWC) software and we did a lot of research of the dry waste collection. For the SWC several software systems are designed to register its whole waste stream.

First, to measure how much waste is coming in and goes out, smart weighing scale software was designed.

Then a stock check application was made to measure the current stock. Furthermore, a power cut app was developed to record the productivity of the SWC.

To keep track of the man-hours, a biometric scanning device was used.

At last a financial app was developed to record all the financial data from the SWC.

Because the waste collection of Bangalore was very complex we could not design an app yet. Instead, we gathered a lot of information and made an overview of all the possibilities and requirements so next year a new group can continue with the Door2Door collection app.

After our three-month period the maintenance and improvement of the SWC software will be done by Q-soft and IGG. The research of waste collection will be handed over to Sweepsmart and the next group. They can use this information to develop the Door2Door collection app.
A lot of improvements for the optimization of the Door2Door collection are suggested:
• Design and develop a mobile
application to facilitate data collection about the waste collection on city level.

  • Provide basic knowledge and educate the households about waste segregation and collection (this can be done through the application).
  • Develop a system in which waste collection is made clear and provide recourses for collectors to do collection in an efficient way.
  • Per waste stream there has to be a clear overview on how the waste should be collected and where it should go to.
  • Find a more efficient way to track the waste so it is easier to find informal small parties.
/* */