Segregate

A mobile app for efficient household waste disposal

Overview

This project explored the crucial global issue of municipal solid waste management (MSWM) and how a systems approach can be adopted in exploring a solution to this third-world problem.

The management of municipal solid waste is a crippling problem in most developing countries. Our goal was to probe for a design intervention which could assist in overcoming this challenge at the user level.

Project Details

Duration

March 2015 - April 2015

Tools Used

Photoshop, Illustrator

Team

Abhraneel Sarma
Pooja Dhaka

Role

We jointly collaborated throughout the design process: literature review, analysis, brainstorming, sketching, wireframing and prototyping.

Outcome

We designed a mobile application which would allow the users to be aware of proper disposal techniques, segregation of waste in their households and make the user aware of pickup schedules (municipalty trash collection) in an attempt to create a environmentally conscious community.

01. Design Methodology

We followed a systems design methodology for this project because it enabled us to understand components of the system and the gaps better, instead of proceeding with a particular user in mind.

This enabled us to get a holistic view of the entire MSWM system, identify different gaps and think about the potential interventions to address these issues.

02. Literature Research

We performed an extensive literature research in which we reviewed research papers which documented both successful and unsuccessful attempts at tackling the problem of municipal solid waste management in third world countries including India.

Poor collection in low income and low literacy communities

Integrated system required for the monitoring & management of MSW

Public awareness is essential for proper MSW management

Private contractors are more efficient in waste collection, but are expensive to municipalities

Collection in most Indian cities is very low and the government is looking into PPP framework for implementation

Proper disposal of waste after collection is required

03. Gap Analysis

Our literature review helped us define the various systems and sub-systems that exist and play a role in the collection, management and disposal of municipal solid waste (MSW).

We performed a gap-analysis to identify gaps in the relationships between the various entities that affect or influence the MSWM system.

04. Problem Definition

The problem of MSWM is multi-faceted and needs to be tackled at different levels and through different means. We identified some of the critical aspects of the system which can be addressed through technological intervention at the household level.

Poor collection in low income and low literacy communities

Erratic collection schedules and improper disposal methods.

Integrated system required for the monitoring & management of MSW

Objective

Efficient segregation, collection of waste and promotion of recycling at the user level for ease of final disposal

05. Design

Personas

Based on our problem definition, we created two hypothetical personas based on who we believe our prospective users of the app would be.

Design Goals
Easy segregation of waste at the household level through information and instructions
Easy segregation of waste at the household level through information and instructions
Awareness regarding the dangers of improper MSWM
Management and monitoring of collection activities
Data Flow Diagram
Sketches
Wireframes

06. Prototyping