Millions of tons of waste are being produced on this planet every single day. The efficiency of the waste disposal prevailing in most countries is questionable and differs negligibly from one kind of waste to another. Consequently, it does not come as a surprise that these disposal methods affect the environment and the climate of the Earth adversely. Burning plastic, rotting biowaste, neglected electronic waste - all of them contribute to serious factors of climatic change like global warming. A proper network and method of disposal is the need of the hour and any instance of neglect would lead to irreparable damage to our planet. So we wanted to do something about this. Thus we thought of starting a community for proper collection and relaying of waste from individual households, managing and disposing of them via methods beneficial to the environment and the society as a whole. And thus NAMASTE was born.
What it does
A collaborative project for a better environment, lesser climatic catastrophes and the holistic development of the society
What is this project?
The project consists of several sections for managing waste efficiently.
The project focuses on collecting and disposing primarily of 4 types of waste: BIO WASTE: The biological waste collected by the community will be taken to black soldier fly farms where these flies decompose the organic matter without as much as a scratch to the environment. The black soldier fly is an insect known for its ability in decomposing organic matter. The black soldier fly larva (BSFL) can convert manure and organic feed into nutritional meals for animals. While decomposition of the organic matter can be achieved, mass production of the BSFL can also be achieved since a single female fly can produce up to 500 eggs. The larvae known to be extremely rich in protein can be successfully used as a substitute for animal feed at prices as low as half of the cost of currently available feed. The quantity of feed needed would also drastically reduce since 5g of BSFL would compensate 10g of the ordinary food feed. The black soldier flies are found in climates similar to that found in Kerala but are not found in any of the neighbouring states. This implies decomposition of waste in BSF farms would mean not only ensure economical stability but economic growth without compromising the effectiveness of the waste disposal method. Kerala can thus become a mass biowaste management hub for several states across India. PLASTIC WASTE: The bulk of plastic waste collected would be used in producing commodities that are useful for society. However, care has to be taken to not use recycled plastic for any goods that come in close contact with people or animals. Hence, we came up with the idea of flower pots made of recycled plastic. These would be useful compared to the mud pots in the sense that plastic pots would be more durable and manageable. They will not be brittle in contrast to their mud counterparts. Our aim is to avoid the incineration of plastic as it is undoubtedly disastrous for the environment. AGRICULTURAL WASTE: Agricultural waste contributes generously to the degradation of the environment and thereby climatic change. If among the agricultural waste, we could procure waste that could be recycled into paper, it would prove beneficial to nature. It would account for proper disposal of the waste AND a reduction in deforestation to make paper. E-WASTE: The electronic waste collected during the process would be properly relayed to the sites disposing of these wastes. As a future plan, the electronic gadgets procured can be segregated into usable and completely damaged from which the usable gadgets can be donated to people or communities who cannot afford electronic devices.
Collecting the waste
This is where our flutter app comes in. This app allows the user to notify the women volunteer groups about the waste in their house and schedule a pickup time for the same. The users can either choose the category of waste from the options provided in the app (presently) or take a picture of the garbage after which the app will suggest the category of waste captured(using ML) in case they do not know in which category to schedule the pickup. Each user will have an individual profile and earns points each time they dispose of waste through our app. As the points increase, they can buy eco-friendly products made by small communities at discounted rates with discounts proportional to their points. We will also be selling black soldier fly larvae to the customers through the app. This would provide small craftsmen communities to increase their business. The women volunteer groups will be paid cash for collecting the waste at regular intervals and bringing them to us from where we would work on disposing of all the waste properly and as planned. This would also be a step towards empowering the women communities.
Thus, our project brings together efficient ways of disposal as well as a proper collection of waste with the ultimate aim to reduce adverse effects on the environment.
How we built it
First, through various brainstorming and online meetings we gave our idea a basic structure. Then we divided the work among each other, some dealt with the UI, some coding part, some writing the contents. We used the live share feature in vscode to work together. We made a team project in Figma so that all could work on it and make necessary changes. We used Google Meet for brainstorming and meetings. Constant Communication made this project possible.
Challenges we ran into
We faced a lack of time. We all have worked hard and did our best. Almost all among us were beginners and this was our first hackathon. We took time in fixing our idea and couldn't complete the whole thing. Creating an app that gets noticed, making the app interactive, promoting and marketing are some other challenges.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The project currently does the following:
- Allows users to schedule a pickup date
- Manages different kinds of waste efficiently
- Provides livelihood to various women and craftsmen communities
What we learned
The things we learnt were innumerable. We never thought that we could learn in such a short time. Firstly, we learnt what is a hackathon and it was a really great learning journey in a short period of time. We learnt the basics of Figma, Flutter, Firebase and heard about many new things. The experience of working remotely as a team was something new to us and gave a lot of insights
What's next for NAMASTE
We would like to add more features in future like:
- Ensuring better quality products by checking the batch of goods as a whole using machine learning
- Integrating IBM database and Watson translation, chatbot services to the namaste app.
- Utilising IBM visual recognition services to help identify the type of waste from an image captured by the user.
- Enabling crypto mining in the background of our app to attract young people and these crypto rewards could be redeemed while purchasing from our app
- Plotting areas with large waste dump/landfills on an ML-based map which classifies the image inputs from the user
How to Run
Step 1: Download or clone this repo by using the link below:
Step 2: Go to the project root and execute the following command in the console to get the required dependencies:
flutter pub get
Step 3: Run main.dart file or use the following command