How EcoFuture plans to make Nigeria filth-free by 2030
Are you tired of having mounds of garbage in your bin for weeks, waiting for the next truck-stop date before getting relief? Many people are. The good news is, you could get relief as early as March 2018, thanks to innovators like EcoFuture.
Destiny Frederick a 27 year old, who lives in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria, is the Founder/CEO of EcoFuture. She is a graduate of Biochemistry from Madonna University, Okija, Anambra State with over five (5) years’ experience in the area of waste management, recycling, entrepreneurship and mentorship. She is optimistic about seeing a filth-free Nigeria by 2030.
How does the young entrepreneur intend to accomplish such a feat? Her company, EcoFuture, has developed a new product to prototype level called EcoBin. EcoBin is a GSM enabled smart sensor waste bin that transmits real- time data about fill levels. The data is analyzed using a cloud based server and utilized to enhance waste collection routes so that only filled containers are serviced. The startup designed and programmed a hardware that will be infrared fitted with a code attached to each bin for every household. In that case the garbage collecting company will receive alerts and detailed reports regarding completed collections, upcoming collections alerts and sudden changes in container fill levels.
The device is designed in such a way that reports will be generated automatically and sent out daily according to user preferences. These will be presented as both formatted HTML emails as well as standard import formats (CSV and JSON), allowing easy use within other tools and systems. EcoFuture will also install tracking and monitoring device for effective management.
Although the product is designed to ultimately bring succor to the masses, it is meant to be used by public/private partnership waste management companies in Nigeria that aim to have effective operations system (B2B). It will help waste management companies to enhance collection logistics and gain valuable insights from their operations for greater efficiency. EcoBin will automate the planning of waste collection and optimize routes. The system uses wireless ultrasonic sensors to remotely measure the fill-level of waste containers and cloud service to forecast when bins become full and optimize the collection routes and schedules. The routes are then delivered to the driver’s cellular enabled tablet, which guides him along the route.
Destiny tells Outrepreneurs that her innovation will have definite practical impact on the masses, including: (1) huge number of green jobs creation, (2) tons of recovered waste from the environment, (3) tons of waste collected for recycling activities, and (4) Clean and hazard-free environment.
According to the young entrepreneur, her motivation for the innovation comes from the burden on her heart of seeing many Nigerian university graduates unemployed. Having thought about how difficult it is for them all to get the white-collar jobs they were hoping for, she realized that the youth need to create jobs for themselves and decided to start a social business. Having done research on waste management and recycling, she knew that unmanaged landfills and illegal waste dumpsites were leaving residents of Edo State, Nigeria, at risk of drainage blockage, erosion, pollution and disease spread. The only solution currently available is private waste collection, which is too expensive for most low-income residents in the region. Driven by the will to change this, Destiny founded EcoFuture.
Coming up with this prototype hasn’t been without challenges for the young lady. According to her, the major challenge was getting the right team and the materials for the prototype. “They were very expensive because they were imported. We are currently working on using locally sourced materials to produce the hardware to reduce cost on subscription,” according to her.
Does she get support from sympathizers? Destiny says that there is a likely partnership with a telecommunications company, and she’s in talks with a company in the waste industry. But aside from that, no moral or financial support is coming from any other source. All expenses for the development of EcoBin are defrayed solely by the young entrepreneur fueled by passion as a team for social impact.
The prototype is fast getting to its minimum viable product (MVP) stage. This is what makes Destiny confident that EcoBin will be available to the public by March 2018.
Cees Harmon10 Posts
Cees (pronounced Case) is on the editorial team at outrepreneurs.com. He has been in the field of journalism for 11 years and counting. He relishes Banga soup with fufu.