Bright ideas at Waste Management Hackathon 2020

Students of engineering colleges in the state were at their innovative best at the Waste Management Hackathon 2020, conducted by the Goa State Innovation Council in collaboration with the Goa Waste Management Corporation, Saligao.

The two-day event on February 18 and 19 2020, at Don Bosco College of Engineering, Fatorda, aimed at encouraging students to come up with solutions to the garbage disposal problems faced by the state.

The other goal of the hackathon was to incubate the culture of product/process innovation with problem-solving mindset by giving students a platform to solve challenges faced in solid waste management and disposal.

Experts at the event revealed that the state faces several challenges in solid waste management. The challenges are in the collection as well as the disposal stage. Disposal of sanitary pads and diapers in a scientific manner is one of the biggest problems as the items are generated in huge quantities. Both sanitary napkins and diapers are categorised as bio-medical waste and are the slowest moving items in waste, according to officials at the GWMC.

Disposal of tube lights, LED’s and CFL bulbs in a scientific manner is also a headache to the authorities. The other challenges are in removal of solid waste from surface water bodies, viz. rivers, lakes, ponds, etc, and segregation of dry waste as well as reduction or elimination of moisture from refuse derived fuel (RDF)

A total of 19 student projects were accepted for the hackathon and made it to the finals The submitted projects were evaluated on the basis of problem identification and ideation, innovation, design and sustainability

Mechanical engineering students, Rajay Naik and Sanath Bharne of Don Bosco College of Engineering who made a mini solid waste segregator won the first prize. The students were supported by faculty, Swapnil Ramani and Ajit Salunke.

A design and fabrication of glass powdering and grading machine for various industrial application won the second prize. The project was by students Tejas Pandit and Rohit Prabhu, Don Bosco College of Engineering and assisted by professor Suraj Marathe.

The third prize at the hackathon was won by a five student team of Don Bosco College of Engineering comprising, Sainil Priolkar, Saiesh Karwarkar, Deeptesh Morajkar, Aafrin Khan and Akshata Fatartekar. The team from the civil engineering course came up with a solution for the detection and removal of floating waste on water bodies. The students were assisted by professors Satyesh Kakodkar and Gaurish Samant

The hackathon had some very capable entrepreneurs as mentors such as Scott Knox, founder,  Sunlight LLP, Jabir Karat, founder, Green Worms, Kerala, Akshay Gunteti, AccelerateSD Foundation, Hyderabad, Kishore Shah, director, Ideaz Unlimited, K Moorley Dharan, management consultant and Baylon Gomes, managing director, Bavish.

The three-member judge panel included Dr Vittal Tilve, School of Earth &, Space Exploration, USA, Lalit Saraswat, chairman, CII- Goa and Atul Naik, chief executive officer, Creative Engineers Group of Industries.