Designing a retrofittable attachment to community dustbins that cleans the vicinity of the dustbin


In Indian metro cities, the amount of garbage generated is increasing in every neighbourhood and locality. This causes a major problem in areas where garbage collection happens through large community dustbins, namely the scattering of garbage around these bins due to overflow, human negligence and animal interference. This is an unsightly and unhygienic affair which affects the aesthetic appearance of the urban environment, and causes community problems like breeding of pathogens, disease vectors like mosquitoes, flies and rats, and gathering of stray animals.

Due to the sheer number of dustbins present in a city, a large amount of manual labor is required just to clean the areas around each dustbin. Moreover, this cleaning happens only during garbage collection. The objective is to address this issue with a fully automatic mechanical system that periodically cleans the area around municipal dustbins and yet be robust and accessible.

This project was undertaken as part of a Product Design Lab course in a team of five members consisting of Akhil Sathuluri , Shivani Guptasarma , Gautham B G, Vivek Srinivas and myself.


Concept 1: A lifting platform that collects garbage in a external collector.
Concept 2: A mechanical scraper that sweeps the trash using an attachment.
Concept 3: A turbine powered by incoming garbage used to move a scooper.

My Contribution

The product was divided into three parts,

  • the energy module
  • the timing module
  • the movement

I was chiefly responsible for the timing module, and I came up with a hourglass concept that would use the lifting motion of the bin when the garbage is picked up by the municipality to reset the clock. The time duration was decided as 24 hours. An image of the concept can be found below.

Timing module

I also contributed to the energy and movement team during the conceptual design phase, and was instrumental in building the prototype.

The Outcome

A video of the four bar mechanism designed and used in the prototype.

The prototype was presented to the entire department of Engineering Design at the Product Design lab, and was evaluated by various professors in the department. It was a highly successful presentation, helping us obtain an ‘S’ grade in the course, which is the equivalent of a 10 GPA.