To encourage effective waste management in Cambodia, more Cambodians have been inventing new ideas in hopes to counter the country’s mounting rubbish problem.

Every day, Phnom Penh alone generates anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 tonnes of waste. Cambodia as a whole produces more than 10,000 tonnes of waste per day, which equals more than 3.6 million tonnes a year according to the Khmer Times.

To combat this problem, Kieng Yang and Sok Pisey, with support from USAID’s Development Innovations Cambodia initiative and the automation company ArrowDot, have created a smart bin prototype. SmartBin can tell the difference between metals and plastics, and will automatically categorise rubbish into different categories.

The project also aims to increase both level of recycling in Cambodia and raise awareness of the impact of waste.

The prototype is 75 cm by 50 cm, has one hole for the rubbish and a small display screen. Rubbish is placed in the hole and waste is automatically divided into plastic and metals. Users can also be rewarded complimentary discount shopping coupons when they answer a question that appears on the display screen correctly. The screen also informs users when the bin is full.

Going forward, Yang and Pisey have big ambitions to tackle Cambodia’s waste problem on larger scale.

“Following this project, we plan to make a waste management system that is able to categorise waste in large factories on an industrial scale,” Yang said.
But they’re not the only ones who have come with this idea, another group of five cambodian’s have already created a new kind of waste container that leverages on technology to sort waste and encourage Cambodians to recycle.

Their SmartBin has separate compartments for different types of recyclable waste, sensors built in it will allow the bin to detect whether the waste is being disposed in the correct compartment.

Whilst both are similar, it is heartening that more and more young Cambodians are taking more action in a bid to help clean up Cambodia’s streets.