87 Year Old Engineer’s Vision Of A Clean And Healthy India Making Waste Collection Easier Through Unique Waste Disposal Bins

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ch1Ganga Narayan Ghosh, a mechanical engineer by qualification has designed some unique bins to tackle the problem of waste management in India in an organised way.

At 87, Ganga Narayan Ghosh is one of those rare Indians who still live their lives with complete righteousness. Leaving a glorious professional life as a mechanical engineer in the corporate sector and in a successful engineering business, Ghosh decided to dedicate his life to social work when he turned 49.

‘Ghosh chose to work with garbage because it affects public health in a huge way’

Besides other social services, he spent a lot of time researching and came up with designs for ideal bins that can meet India’s waste management needs.

ch2Garbage content in India is different from that in western countries. He realised that simply copying the machines used in the West will not solve the problem. He visited 192 cities in India and 80 cities of six continents to explore other systems and finally designed three unique bins. Any tourist visiting India wonders about the filth that is strewn all around.

Ghosh chose to work with garbage because it affects public health in a huge way. Besides the unclean and grubby messy look, strewn garbage clogs drains and leads to floods. Open heaps of rotting garbage secretes leachate, which gets washed away with the rain and contaminates surface water and eventually groundwater. Garbage piles also release methane, which happens to be a highly inflammable greenhouse gas.

Though he has been living in America for the last 16 years, Ghosh continues to travel to India every year to create a network of committed people.

ch3His patented designs for bins are unique in three different ways. Every bin is covered, which prevents birds and animals from grabbing the waste content inside. Each bin is elevated so the bottom does not get submerged in water and is not corroded. The third and perhaps most unique feature is that the bottom portion of every bin is strategically slanted. This creates an ‘angle of slide’ that helps in emptying waste once the front hatch is opened. The garbage automatically comes out of the opening due to gravity. Specially designed handcarts or regular open-top trucks can be strategically placed in front of the bins to collect waste. This is a huge relief for garbage handlers. They hardly have to touch anything. It is impossible to empty out a flat-bottomed bin with moist content in this way. Even the top surface of each bin has a slope so rain water cannot accumulate and corrode it. People also cannot leave bags of trash on it. “The opening through which garbage is pushed inside by the users will allow the material to fall downward in a heap. Cubic bins can never fill up all the way to the top anyway,” says Ghosh.

‘Ghosh chose to work with garbage because it affects public health in a huge way. Besides the unclean and grubby messy look, strewn garbage clogs drains and leads to floods. Open heaps of rotting garbage secretes leachate, which gets washed away with the rain and contaminates surface water and eventually groundwater. Garbage piles also release methane, which happens to be a highly inflammable greenhouse gas’

 These bins come in three sizes. The small bin is perched on a pole with a swivel.

ch4Emptying waste from it is very easy. One just has to place the handcart underneath and turn the bin on its swivel for the entire content to slide out. Once released, the bin springs back to its original upright position. These can be used at bus stops, railway stations, parks, and footpaths.

A mid-sized bin is ideal for small communities, housing complexes, markets and schools.

The base stands are firmly set in the ground to prevent theft. The handcart, too, is unique because the container is     detachable from the wheel-base. This makes it possible for garbage handlers to lift it to a truck and flip it empty.

A large-sized bin comes with a staircase. It is specially designed to load contents onto a truck. The slant at the bottom allows the contents to easily slide into open trucks. These large-size bins are ideal for large markets or big housing complexes of about 300 families. All bins are made of steel to keep the price competitive.

‘His patented designs for bins are unique in three different ways. Every bin is covered, which prevents birds and animals from grabbing the waste content inside. Each bin is elevated so the bottom does not get submerged in water and is not corroded. The third and perhaps most unique feature is that the bottom portion of every bin is strategically slanted. This creates an ‘angle of slide’ that helps in emptying waste once the front hatch is opened’

ch5The swivel-emptying bin on a stand-alone pole cost only Rs. 1,200 – Rs. 1,500. The estimated price for the mid-sized bin is a reasonable Rs. 10,000 – Rs. 12,000. The large bins cost about Rs. 50,000 – Rs. 55,000. The hand cart with removable basket costs Rs. 3,000 – Rs. 4,000. The bin designs are so well-drawn and explained that any interested fabricator should be able to manufacture them.

Ghosh is waiting for more manufacturers and builders to come forward to make these bins for new apartment complexes. He is happy to share the designs without any financial interest. He believes that large scale production will lead to employment generation. He has written elaborate training booklets for welders and is currently writing a book on India’s garbage issue.

Ganga Ghosh is also designing toilets for rural and semi-urban areas. He is highly concerned about this hurried toilet construction all over India. “Simply installing toilets is not going to be a longterm solution. Installing toilets without adequate septic tanks or a plan for the responsible disposal of their contents will lead to serious groundwater contamination,” he says.

Currently, mid-sized bins are being manufactured on demand by Triveni Industries in Mumbai and GSB Toolcrafts in Kolkata. The proprietor Devadidev Banerjee can be contacted at dev@gsbtoolcrafts.com.

Check out Ghosh’s Facebook page: Garbage Solutions