Kecho Khurte Shaar (MagicBin)
Decentralized vermi-composting of household waste in a controlled ecosystem ensuring economic incentive & environmental betterment
Pitch us on your solution
The Problem: Inefficient garbage disposal practices around urban households in Dhaka that result in air-water-soil pollution, systematic failure, inconvenience to citizen, wastage of potential opportunities.
The Solution: Our solution is titled as Kecho Khurte Shaar, and the signature product we offer is called the MagicBin.
The Process: Kecho Khurte Shaar is a multi-dimensional project that improves garbage disposal practice at the household level, makes productive use of food waste through its signature product the MagicBin, reduces per capita waste generation, ensures separated disposal of inorganic and recyclable waste and catalyzes the reduction of environmental pollution. This project, on one hand, ensures organic composting and contributes to the environment through making sure that inorganic waste gets dealt with properly; on the other hand it creates monetary incentives by encouraging small business opportunities in every homes.
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What is the problem you are solving?
Worldwide 2 Billion people do not have access to waste collection service. Every year 334 millions of tonnes of waste is generated in South Asia.
There is an increasing rate of waste generation in Bangladesh and it is projected to reach 47,064 tonnes per day by 2025. The rate of waste generation is expected to increase to 220 kg/cap/year in 2025.
The following factors contribute to this problem in Dhaka:
- Waste collection services lack proper systematic technique
- Zero access to collection service in some areas leads to illegal crude dumps while Dhaka, a major city and the capital, has a collection rate of only 37%.
- Lack of awareness in urban dweller regarding garbage disposal and its consequences
- Organic (Food waste) and inorganic waste is not separated at source
- Different types of wastes including hazardous and e-waste remain mixed for a long time
- Liquid pollutants and deadly gases released from the crude dumps pose serious environmental and health hazards to the people.
Image: Flowchart shows the journey of domestic garbage in Dhaka
Who are you serving?
- Clients: Urban Dwellers who buys our MagicBin and get it installed in their house are our primary clients. We offer installation of the bin, maintenance consultancy, on-demand/scheduled customer service, additional small products to them.
- Garbage workers: Our solution has a partial impact on the lives of the local garbage collectors. Their income depends a lot on selling separated bottles, plastic, papers etc. From our clients’ households they get separated inorganic waste and make use of it effectively.
- Urban gardeners: From our client community as well as from our production plant we harvest a number of supplies i.e. vermin-compost, worm tea, eggshell powder etc. which will be marketed via online to the urban gardeners, a growing community in Dhaka.
- Rural Farmers: With large amount of harvest, we will go on selling the vermin-compost fertilizer as well as compost worm to the existing rural markets with increasing demand countrywide.
- Restaurants and Fish Markets: We will start collecting waste from restaurants and fish markets through large scale organic processing plant called SLRM Centers.
What is your solution?
Kecho Khurte Shaar is a multi-dimensional project. The title “Kecho Khurte Shaar” is derived from a well-known Bengali idiom, and can be translated into “One linear action leading to great outcomes.” The word “Kecho” means worms which has a core role to play in our solution.
Behavioral Change: We focus on bringing change in the behavioral pattern of the garbage producers through technical and adaptive solution. We plan to improve the current practice of urban citizen around garbage disposal in Dhaka. By improvement we mean separated disposal at household level, awareness about littering, knowledge about total waste scenario and its environmental consequences, and active engagement.
Image: Goals and activities of Kecho Khurte Shaar
“Solid Wastes are only raw materials we’re too stupid to use.” - Arthur C. Clarke
Our signature product is as we call it the MagicBin. MagicBin is a compost bin operated with live hungry compost worms. Users will dispose his/her food waste in it, then the waste get eaten inside and get filtered out as vermicompost aka Black Gold. It doesn’t require much space and can be modelled with tailor-made designs as per the clients’ need and volume of garbage production.
Image: Features of the MagicBin
Inorganic Wastes get separated: By the process, users will dispose the inorganic and recycleable waste i.e. non-degradable items, plastics, glasses, papers etc. separately in a different bin preferably using labelled bags provided by us. Therefore, garbage collectors will easily collect from these households and put those in due process without resulting any hurdles, potential contamination, environmental pollution and waste of recycling opportunities.
Creating Supply Chain: To sustain the economic activities, we will build up a supply chain countrywide for gardening and agro-based products.
Image: Flowchart of the supply chain
Small Business Opportunity: Following the process, our clients get to start a small business right from their home with the byproducts of the MagicBin. We will facilitate the whole process of harvesting vermicompost and reproduced compost worms i.e. Red Wiggler (Eisenia fetida), African Night Crawler (Eudrilus eugeniae) etc. to sell them to an external market via our chain. This opportunity brings monetary incentives to our clients especially to the ones with lower income as well as spacious households.
Therefore, we can serve our clients community, local garbage collectors, urban gardeners, an external market of rural farmers, and above all the environment by reducing pollutants.
Where our solution team is headquartered or located:Dhaka, Bangladesh
In which sector would you categorize your solution?
Describe what makes your solution innovative.
“Disposing of urban household garbage in a controlled ecosystem”, this mere statement addresses the very alarming condition that despite being a progressive country, the very root of one of the environments agent waste management is still not efficient around municipal. Innovative perspective states a new dimension of action and our solution is all about that! Other than just planning a scheme of waste management we’re offering,
A product that will provide service in multiple ways, which will ensure the segregation of organic and inorganic waste, improvise recurring garbage practices of urban citizen, production of byproducts that requires zero electricity and income from selling them which will act as an incentive for the householders to uphold the practice.
We’ve seen some of the practices in rural area where women are earning through vermicomposting. So to make it sustainable we designed every stage of waste disposal that will bring multipurpose incentives to follow, as per improvement goes,
- New concept for urban population
- provides a cause for separating waste through MagicBin, labeled plastic bags with minimum supervisions
- lessens waste generation in a unique way with multiple byproducts
- sustainability of this project through income generation
- Decentralization of food waste processing to ensure maximum usages
Unlike any other problem solving projects, this solution ensures every stage is interconnected, demands least time and work commitments yet promises a bigger impact on environmental and economic changes for urban people in the bigger picture.
Why do you expect your solution to address the problem?
The core product:
- Tested product: The MagicBin, has been tested in different households under various circumstances. We have tested our live agents inside the bin to know how resilience and adaptive they are.
- Globally popular practice: Organic food waste processing is an increasingly popular practice worldwide. People share DIY vermicomposting bin ideas on YouTube, blogs and other social media to inspire others.
- Economic Incentives: Along with the environmental betterment, our solution offers economic incentives to the users which will help to fight the cultural barriers to introduce the idea.
- Evidence of income generation: Among others an international non-governmental organization named World Vision International facilitates household vermicomposting unit as an income generating mechanism for ultra-poor families in villages of Bangladesh. We have visited a couple of villages and spectated how this idea works in rural areas.
- Market Observation: We have observed that there is a growing demand of gardening products in Dhaka to the rooftop gardeners. In rural areas, demand for large amount of vermicompost is also growing for agricultural purpose.
Solving the waste problem:
With the process and outcomes of our solution, we directly address the SDGs 12.5 and 11.6 and indirectly address SDGs 12.4, 6.3, 11.1, 12.3, 1.4 in the long run. We can prevent about 30kg of food waste from going to landfills and separate 30kgs of inorganic waste at source by activating 1 MagicBin in 1 household which itself are some extraordinary numbers.
Select the key characteristics of the population in Bangladesh your solution serves.
How many people are you currently serving with your solution? How many will you be serving in one year? How about in five years?
Right now we are serving only 3 households with experimental prototypes of MagicBin while 1 of the households is in suburb and the other 2 is inside Dhaka.
In one year:
- At least 100 households through MagicBin and additional services
- About 1000 customers through the supply chain
- More than 10000 people through awareness campaigns in order to introduce the culture and to engage the likeminded environment enthusiasts
In five years:
- About 1000 households through MagicBin and additional services
- About 10000 customers through the supply chain
- About 3 local markets through SLRM Center’s raw material collection
- More than 100 thousand people through awareness campaigns
What are your goals within the next year and within the next five years?
We plan to run the pilot project throughout the next year and invest in planning and preparation.
By next year, we plan do the following:
- Introducing MagicBin: To start manufacturing tailor made MagicBins
- Multipurpose Plant: To build up a multipurpose production plant larger raw material processing, products processing, warehouse facility etc.
- Market Study: To assess the market demand in both the urban dwellers and village farmers
- Creating A Supply Chain: Creating a supply chain of products related to gardening and agriculture via both online and offline network
- Research and Development: To develop better designs of our products that address various consumer needs
- Web Portal: To publish an online order placement and management portal on our website
- Awareness Campaign: Multi-approach campaign for raising awareness regarding efficient garbage disposal techniques and tutorials
- Creating A Community: To connect the likeminded people inspiring discussions, knowledge sharing and support
- Created Small Business: To facilitate small business opportunities among the clients’ community using our supply chain
By next five years:
- Scaling up MagicBin production and distribution
- Scaling up the raw material processing plant with large vermicompost unit etc.
- Establish at least 1 Solid and Liquid Resource Management (SLRM) Center inside or near Dhaka
- Reaching out to local restaurants to maintain the supply of larger amount of food waste
- Publishing a Mobile Application to manage order placement and the supply chain better
- Policy dialogues engaging experts and government stakeholders
What are the barriers that currently exist for you to accomplish your goals for the next year and for the next five years?
Since low profit margin, sustainability is a major issue while implementing the idea. Our projection for one year completion follows, we’ll customize every individual MagicBin and will maintain an effective supply chain of the raw materials (worms, Binbox, design toolkits) based on demand. So initial low profit margin might strike as a crucial sustainability obstacle. Our main concern is to give incentives to householders that their minimum habitual change of separating waste would result in earning regularly and most importantly contribution on keeping environment clean. So every householder’s problems would be our privileges to work for with lowest profit margin for a long time we’ll have to serve our best to the community we’ll promise a better future.
Our systemic production plant will require a specific location that will act as the warehouse for all our inventories which we don’t have yet. As each specified customized MagicBin will be prepared based on the requirements of the home it will be placed, it’s must that we have a specific laboratory to brainstorm, manufacture and to maintain the supply chain of the byproducts.
- For the urban people reproducing worms in their own the concept itself is completely new, so the acceptance rate would be lower at inception.
- In male dominant households, the family heads might discourage the system for conventional beliefs.
There is no strategic market chain yet for such model, so starting from a completely new perspective would be challenging.
How are you planning to overcome these barriers?
This is one of the most difficult challenges we’ll have to overcome in our whole implementing and manufacturing process. We have already mentioned above the significance of this project and the possible best outcomes from it. So the possible solution we’ll approach might include assembling more funds/sponsorships towards its sustainability. As the whole idea is based on philanthropic goals we’ll keep our agenda straight and will precisely communicate for funding with humanitarian establishments followed by our work improvements.
Given that we get selected as one of the winners, we’ll utilize a big proportion from the fund to establish the permanent resources. So to fulfill the criteria for our production plant we’ll specifically set up the warehouse for permanent use, that way we’ll be able to control the whole ecosystem within our area needed for the effective reproduction of worms and manufacturing of the MagicBin.
To change the adaptive practice of urban people needs patience, time commitments and systematic procedure to follow. Our team will be specifically assigned to the household we’ll be serving for the proper instructions and set-up of MagicBin. Any kind of inconvenience or changes needed we’ll be one call away to serve. We’ll approach influencing social authorities to increase the acceptance rate within male dominant households. The changes might be slow but it’ll be sustainable that’s what we’ll promise.
Market for this project is scattered, our plan is to ensure an effective market chain though online platform and specific contractor network.
Select an option below:Not registered as any organization
How many people work on your solution team?
Currently 7 people. 1 full-time staff, 3 part-time staff, and 2 contractors/suppliers, and 1 worker.
For how many years have you been working on your solution?
Why are you and your team best-placed to deliver this solution?
The team we’ve built while working in this project for almost two years, we followed a very systemic method on team dynamics. Speaking of background, skills and experience, our core members have their own purpose driven desire to work on this project. From being a student in geography& environmental science to major in marketing and finance, and countrywide contractors from distant rural areas, we’ve chosen people based on the skill and their dedication. The team functions from internal research support to effective logistics support and inventory managements. We’ve members constantly working for straight two years just to fulfill the goal of proper waste disposal even with lots of other work commitments and financial crisis. Our dedication for this cause is driven from the vision of creating a great impact on a bigger picture. We’ve been persistent on our purpose and the solo intention of helping people reflected from the challenge itself. So to best deliver the solution of this problems there will be others who’ll work but we’re here to continue this until it achieves the purpose.
What is your business model?
MagicBin is our signature product while there are a number of additional products and services we will offer. Our primary target is the urban households. The households we install the MagicBin in, get listed as a client. The client community profiles and database will be managed through an online portal. We will provide on-demand/scheduled customer services and track the harvesting schedules of the MagicBins among the client community to support their process.
By harvest we mean the byproducts of the MagicBin which are Vermicompost (Worm Castings), worm Tea made out of the compost, and of course the reproduced compost worms. We will act as a medium to market these harvest from the clients’ households to an external market.
There is an existing conventional market for these products countrywide which is partially active online via Facebook e-commerce groups. We will also create an additional market via online in the urban gardener community, a growing one in Dhaka.
Thus we plan to create small business opportunity in every urban households while facilitating their product distribution chain.
Image: Business model of Kecho Khurte Shaar
What is your path to financial sustainability?
Through Sales: Once we get our production plant (SLRM Center) and the manufacturing unit for the MagicBin activated and running, we will focus on mass production of items while activating the supply chain to sell those. Here we will be able to generate a considerate amount of revenue to keep the operations running.
Raising Funds: With small business initiation program through MagicBin for low income families, we will try to raise money by reaching out to local corporate for CSR funds, web platforms as well as global funding. We will focus on more partnerships and collaborations which will ensure our expansions and sustainability to function.
Aminul Islam Founder, Waste Free Bangladesh