Problem Statement Handbook
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“ZeroWaste Hackathon”: Tech Business Models for a Cleaner Environment

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Kerala has long been a frontrunner in terms of its social development indicators, setting high standards for the rest of the country. Nevertheless, there exist specific domains where the infusion of technology and automation can significantly contribute to more effective governance. One such critical area is waste management, an integral part of the responsibilities of Local Self-Governing Institutions in Kerala. Effective waste management is not just a civic duty; it is essential for safeguarding the state’s precious water resources and ensuring a clean and healthy living

environment for its residents. As per a 2021 report on the State of Decentralized Solid Waste Management in Kerala, the state generates an excess of 10,000 tonnes of waste daily, with plastic waste constituting 7% of this alarming figure. The Solid Waste Management Rules of 2015, formulated by the Government of India, clearly specify that Local Self Governments (LSGs) are entrusted with the task of establishing appropriate waste processing facilities within their territorial limits. In response to this pressing issue, the Kerala Development Innovation Strategic Council(KDISC), in collaboration with the Local Self Government Department Kerala, Suchithwa Mission, Haritha Kerala Mission, Clean Kerala Company, Kerala Solid Waste Management Project (KSWMP), Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA), and Centre for Management Development (CMD) is launching the “Waste Management Hackathon”. This groundbreaking endeavour seeks to empower Local Governments by connecting them with innovative startup solutions designed to tackle the challenges they face in waste management. By harnessing the potential of technology and innovation, this program aspires Kerala’s waste management practices to a new era of efficiency and sustainability.

Problem statements – Call for applications

The problem areas suggested here are only an indicative list. The applicant is free to submit any innovative solutions coming under the broad 4 problem categories mentioned below

  1. Category 1: Technologies for waste processing
    1. Organic waste processing
      • Coconut shell and husk processing
      • Better and more efficient microorganisms for household-level biogas plants
      • Alternative Systems for Floating Drum Biogas Plants
      • Safe biogas slurry disposal
      • Slow decaying organic waste
      • Bio CNG
      • Black Soldier Fly
      • Managing Organic Waste from Ayurvedic Medicine and Treatment Centers
      • Food waste grinding cum disposal machines (InSinkErator) – back end mechanism
    2. Plastic waste processing
      • Foam/Foam bed recovery
      • Sanitary napkin/diaper recovery/recycling
    3. Electronic and Hazardous Waste
      • Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipments
      • Hazardous Waste
    4. Other forms of waste
      • Glass recycling-alternate uses
      • Construction Demolition Waste and ceramic waste-alternate uses
      • Cloth Waste Management
      • Human Hair from Beauty Saloon
  2. Category 2: Technologies for waste handling systems, waste segregation and waste transfer
    1. Waste Collection vehicles / trolleys for narrow allies and rural roads
    2. Waste Transfer / Seamless loading unloading
    3. Toolkit for Municipal Workers / Haritha Karmasena
    4. Tools for disassembly
    5. Manual Shredder for Composting units
    6. Segregation of Mixed waste in public places
    7. Smart household Devices
    8. Litter boxes
    9. Smart Community Devices
  3. Category 3: Business models for waste processing, waste recycling, waste reduction and recovery
    1. Public Toilet / modern restroom network
    2. Mobile Toilets
    3. Mobile Waste Recovery Units
    4. Mobile Dish wash and sanitizing units
    5. Non Plastic Packing options and packaging alternatives
    6. Redesigning Food for easy packing
    7. Reuse models in food delivery
    8. Reuse model in Food Park
    9. Door Delivery systems
    10. Fish vending systems
    11. Used oil from restaurants and houses
  4. Category 4: Resource reuse and management
    1. Water dispensers
    2. Product / material dispensers for shops
  5. Category 5: Data generation, recording, consolidation and analysis for monitoring and intervention including digital governance systems

Problem statements – Call for applications

Start-ups /Agencies/ Organisations with innovative solutions that have the potential to innovate and scale around waste management solutions. Innovators looking for support primarily in product development, product commercialisation and Go-To-Market Strategy along with processes focusing on community empowerment and participation.


  • Challenge Launch – 3rd November 2023
  • Application End – 3rd December 2023
  • First Phase Evaluation End – 20th December 2023
  • Second Phase Evaluation End – 15th January 2024
  • Announcement of Results – 30th January 2024
  • Pilot Accelerator Phase – February to March 2024

Financial Support

Financial support for pilot intervention will be channelised for selected statups/agencies/organisations through various programmes of the Government of Kerala.