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India Invites Tech-Enabled Solutions for Waste Management

The Technology Development Board (TDB) is inviting applications from companies with indigenous artificial intelligence-based solutions for the management of municipal solid, plastic, construction and demolition, agricultural, biomedical, electronic, industrial hazardous and non-hazardous, battery, and radioactive wastes. According to a government statement, the initiative is an opportunity for Indian companies that have waste management-related technologies to take their products to the next stage of commercialisation.

TDB, which is a statutory body of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), will provide financial assistance in the form of loans, equity, and/or grants to select Indian companies for technology commercialisation. The evaluation to select the products will be based on scientific, technological, financial, and commercial merit, the statement wrote. The call for proposals, titled TDB Waste to Wealth, is in response to the challenge to keep big cities in the country waste-free and, at the same time, generate wealth from waste. The last date to submit a proposal is 3 July.

Countries around the world are using technology to reduce and manage waste more efficiently. In April, OpenGov Asia reported that New Zealand is using a machine to handle and recycle electronic waste. The machine, BLUBOX, sorts and shreds electronic waste and was recently made operational in Auckland. The project was supported by a NZ$ 1.5 million grant from the government’s Waste Minimisation Fund.

The recycling technology can salvage useful materials from electronic waste, including gold, silver, copper, platinum, palladium, and brass as well as hazardous toxins like mercury. Being able to recover and recycle e-waste safely and efficiently has economic, health, and environmental benefits. The technology will expand Computer Recycling’s e-waste processing capacity from an average of 1,300 tonnes per year to 2,000 tonnes each year. As more e-waste becomes available, the processing capacity of the equipment can be lifted to 6,000 tonnes or more per year.

Other countries are deploying technology to recycle and reuse waste. Researchers from the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore recently developed a solution that uses recycled glass in 3D printing, which could lead to more environmentally sustainable construction methods. Glass can be completely recycled with no reduction in quality, yet it is one of the least recycled waste types. Concurrently, growing populations, urbanisation, and infrastructure development have led to a shortage of sand, with climate scientists calling it one of the greatest sustainability challenges of the 21st century.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, one of the research team’s innovations used a specially formulated concrete mix comprising recycled glass, commercial cement products, water, and additives to 3D print a concrete bench. By figuring out the optimal concrete formulation, the NTU research team was able to successfully 3D-print a 40cm tall L-shaped bench as a proof of concept that their material could be 3D printed into an everyday structural (weight-bearing) product. In lab compression tests and filament quality (strength) tests, the 3D printed structure showed excellent buildability and extrudability. As a result of the successful proof-of-concept, the NTU research team believes their development offers a new pathway to recycling glass waste and can contribute to a greener building and construction industry for Singapore and beyond.

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