The collection of waste is a highly visible and important municipal service that involves large expenditures. Waste collection problems are, however, one of the most difficult operational problems to solve in many areas of Sri Lanka.
The current method of waste collection route is identification is done manually. The real-life waste collection problem under consideration can be described as follows. Waste is located in containers along the streets of a defined road network. The waste in the containers must be collected by a fleet of garbage trucks. But the problem with this method is that, sometimes the garbage trucks do not visit a location on a regular basis since the density of the collected garbage on a precise area fluctuates on different collecting days.
The other problem the public faced is that they are not aware of the garbage collecting day since the trucks do not work according to a scheduled time to collect garbage. This way there is a higher chance of the public who miss to dump their waste when the garbage truck visits their area simply because they do not know that it’s the collection day.
To eradicate this problem faced by both the authorities and public, we collaborated with UCAN and came up with an idea to use app technology in the process of collecting solid waste.
The project was funded by UNFPA after the idea won the iVoice competition in May 2017. With support from Mobitel for the location tracking GPS devices for the garbage trucks; we were able to deploy our initial beta test of the mobile application. Kalmunai Municipal will be the first area to receive the services from CITIZEN and will be expanded all over nation eventually.
How the App works
There are 2 ends for the application, for municipal and the users (public). The public will be able to see truck’s location in real-time and will get a notification to the mobile if it is in a 200m distance. So that they won’t be missing to provide the dump and those guys who collect the wastes won’t be needing to shout out “kunoooo kunoooo kunu genda” (Typical Sri Lankan garbage collecting method)
And as for the municipal, they have a back-end dashboard where they can track the concentration of the garbage in an area which will be populated by the general public. For example, let’s say you have dump in your house, but they didn’t come for few days to collect, you can notify the municipal that the garbage collectors did not visit. And if a specific amount of request is sent from a certain area signifies that the concentration of waste is high, and they will decide whether to send a truck or not depending on the stats.
CITIZEN is currently in its beta testing stage that will help coordinate both municipal and the public to collect solid waste. To keep updated about the launch of the final release for public use, follow us on our social media pages Facebook and Twitter