Lifestyle

Responsible household waste management in Sri Lanka

By Chenelle Fernando

In today’s fast-paced world where technology has raced to its apex, what better way to utilise most of what it has to offer than to design an app?

Eco Friends is a mobile-based app launched a few weeks back, featuring on-demand waste collection at your fingertips.

The launch of a mobile app set to assist domestic waste management is the first of its kind in Sri Lanka, with the brains behind its technological platform belonging to Luke Perera, Chathuranga Bandara, and Tharush Jayananda. Ecofriends Director Mark Perera shared that it was the lack of institutionalised policies pertaining to waste management that sparked this idea.

How it works
Users should ideally download the app first, and register to subscribe to the service.

They are then required to choose from a range of options ranging from glass, plastic, paper, e-waste to metal. They will then proceed to “Add waste”, which essentially is a submission of details on the type of waste available along with its quantity.

Finally, with the submission of details, the user will be notified on the date of pick up in advance.

“If you have an X amount of paper to be sent out, the user will have to include a rough figure as to its quantity. So, once the details are submitted, we will notify the user of the pickup date,” added Mark.

Additionally, the app has a three-way rewarding system as well.

“One being for the environment, because we ensure we collect anything that’s recyclable and send it for recycling.” The users get rewarded at the same time as well; depending on the quantity they submit, they will be rewarded on a point-based system.

The app essentially indicated the points each user accumulates, and after six months, users have the option of redeeming those points to obtain money.

Since it was launched just recently, its effectiveness remains to be seen. Mark added: “The idea is essentially to get people to be more conscious about the environment.

Currently, waste materials released by households are released into landfills. My aim is to make people aware and be more conscious about their actions.”

 

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