This bot separates municipal waste on a large scale

Despite the many campaigns organized in Bangalore, large-scale waste separation remains a challenge. But one innovation meets the challenge head-on.

In Bommasandra and Chikkaballapur, a machine separates waste from the city with the aim of preventing plastics from entering landfills at the municipal level. It’s called TrashBot.

It separates waste into biodegradable and non-biodegradable items using its own mechanical operations, programming, pneumatics and separation by size. It has an 85% waste sorting achievement, the makers claim. It can separate waste in capacities of 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, and 200 tons and takes up 1,000 to 2,000 square feet of space for installation.

It is designed by TrashCon, a company founded by Nivedha RM and Saurabh Jain in October 2017. They are graduates of the Toilet Board Coalition’s ‘Accelerator’ program, which supports entrepreneurs working in ‘commercially viable businesses in the economies of the sanitation”.

“The TrashBot separates household and commercial waste from the city in a way that trommels and other waste separation technologies do not. Suppose you have a plastic bag containing household waste like vegetable peelings, papers and sambar. When you put it in the machine, it partially shreds the bag open and uses a range of technologies (such as a size reduction system using size, humidity and wind) to determine different components and separate them” , explains Nivedha.

The machine works for eight hours in one shift and can perform three shifts at one time. “It costs the municipality around Rs 1,000 a tonne to dump the waste in a landfill, but a TrashBot treats 1 tonne of waste at around Rs 60,” she compares the economics of the two approaches.

DH asked Vijyalaxmi S, Junior Sanitary Inspector of Bommasandra City Council if this machine holds any promise. In Bommasandra, a 10-ton Trashbot processes four tons of waste every day.

Vijyalaxmi says: “Waste management has become easier. Wet waste generated here is sent to piggeries, fisheries and poultry farms. While not a completely sustainable method of waste management, it certainly helps keep plastics out of landfills. »

The biodegradable waste separated by the machine can be composted or diverted to make biogas. On the other hand, the company recovers non-biodegradable waste to make WOW boards. These boards are laminated, painted, screwed or drilled to obtain a wood look. These boards can be recycled up to 13 times, they claim.

Melissa C. Keyes