It has already been two weeks into our project and we are getting used to the climate and the culture. Every day we are learning more about the Indian people and all of their differences. People from different states are for them the same as the German and French people are to us. They speak different languages and have different cultures. The Indian way of speaking English is also something we are trying to learn. A good example of that was a statement of Suresh, who said: “Your English I don’t understand, Indian English I understand.” So we tried speaking English with an Indian accent while we were nodding our heads from left to right and it worked! They seemed to understand what we were saying, but you can never know for sure.
At the beginning of this second week we started executing the improvement plan, which we developed in week 1. All the improvements are categorised per process. The first process is the collection, then we have the sorting and the last one is outlet management. These processes are divided into an operational and a business and data part. Jaïr, Fay and Niels are running the operational part and Floor, Enid en Silvia are responsible for the business and data projects.
Last week we started the following projects: optimising the collection schedule, site layout and baling process, monitoring the sorting efficiency, implementing a quality control system, customer report system and a conveyer belt and improving the site neatness and internal transport efficiency.
Optimising collection schedule
To optimise the collection schedule we first had to know which companies Waste Wise is serving and how frequently the companies are served. Enid started with gathering all the contracts Waste Wise has signed with the companies, which turned out to be 75 in total. Enid soon found out that the administration wasn’t completely in order. A lot of contracts were out dated and 19 contracts where nowhere to be found at all. After getting the administration in order Fay and Enid started making a schedule based on the collection frequency that was mentioned in the contract. This schedule only includes which company has to be done daily, weekly, monthly or on demand. The drivers have to decide based on their experience in what order they collect the waste at all the companies in the most efficient way. We will be implementing this system this week and then we can easily see at what companies it takes a lot of time to get in. With this information we can come back to the companies and reduce the collection time. Enid created an interview guide, which we will use in that stage.
Site layout and baling process optimised
We also started analysing the current site layout and thinking of ideas how we could improve this. First of all we needed to know where we were going to put the conveyer belt. In order to decide this Fay en Jaïr measured al the sorting and storage areas. We decided to put the conveyer belt in the sorting area in front of the office. To create some more room in this area we need to take down a wall so the conveyer belt of approximately seven meters should fit in. After this decision Fay could draw the new site layout with a logical distribution of all the storage and sorting areas. This should make the internal transport much easier and faster. We will be implementing this step by step and should be finalised when the conveyer belt arrives. In the site layout Fay and Jaïr also had to decide if the baler was in the right place. The baler is a machine that compresses different kinds of materials together to form very dense bales. These bales could way up to 100 kg’s. Jaïr has been working on optimising the baling process and along with Fay they made the decision to leave the baler in its place and implement the optimised baling plan first.
Monitoring sorting efficiency and data analysing
Last week Floor and Enid have been working hard on analysing all the existing sorting and collection data from the past year. Suresh catalogues all the incoming and sorted waste per day per company, but this isn’t always catalogued properly. So you can imagine this took a lot of time. Floor used this data to calculate the sorting efficiency of the sorters during the day. Enid used to collection data and discovered that not all the companies are served in accordance with the contracts. And Floor came to the conclusion that our sorters process more waste then the average calculated by IGG.
Implementing conveyer belt
We started this week with the first steps of the implementation of a conveyer belt. Niels is in lead of this project and is supported by Fay and Jaïr. Niels and Silvia had several meetings with different vendors who can deliver a conveyer belt for the facility. Next week they will also have a few meetings and then we
decide on which vendor we are going to work with. Experience is required and it is very important they can deliver in accordance with our conditions. On Thursday Fay, Jaïr and Niels went to the collection centre early to try hands on how long the conveyer belt should be and the measurements we would need. When we select a vendor it should only take one month to complete the conveyer belt.
Improving site neatness and internal transport
One of the things we find very important for our flagship location collection centre is that everything looks organised and neat. Therefore we started developing a site neatness plan. In this plan you can read all the regulations and the planning on improving the site neatness. One of the bigger parts of this project is hardening the entrance ground of the facility. Now this is a dirt road, so when it is very dry dust blows, and when it rains, there are large mud puddles, which is a big inconvenience because..?. With hardening the entrance ground and installing drains along the side we hope to solve this problem. Jaïr is working on this plan and had a meeting with a civil engineer about this next week. He is also working with Fay on the internal transport throughout the collection centre. Now everything is transported bag by bag. This costs a lot of time and manpower. The initial plan is to implement a pushcart, which can transport at least 10-15 bags at a time. A pushcart like this is already on site, but the steering wheel is broke and it has one flat tire. In the upcoming week a vendor is coming by to repair the pushcart so it can be implemented in week 4.
Implementing a quality control system
Fay has been developing a quality control system for the collected waste this week. She did this in cooperation with Mahalingappa and Suresh. They developed an Excel sheet where Suresh and the drivers can fill in how much waste they collect in three different categories: dry, wet and reject waste. Dry waste you can separate into valuable materials, wet waste consists of organic materials and goes to composting and reject waste has no value and goes directly to a landfill. With this new system we can easily keep track of the amount of waste we process. And we can see which companies give us the least rejects because the waste is being sorted per company.
Now you have read all the serious information about the progress of our project. As you can see we are very busy here and doing a lot in a short period of time, but we are also having fun. We can laugh every day with the sorters en loaders even though we can’t talk to each other. On Wednesday we could even welcome a new on site loader to the team: Dharaj A. We also got a visit on Thursday of one of the waste guru’s in India, mr. Ramakanth, at our facility. He was delighted to see so many young people working on the waste problem in India and he blessed us on his way out. Thursday was also the day where we had a power cut for over an hour so we moved outside between the waste because it was more comfortable in the shadows than in our office.
Mahalingappa and Girish are also very good company during the day. Jaïr took a motor ride with Mahalingappa to visit another area where the pavers for the entrance ground were stored. ‘Helmets’ are mandatory in Bangalore traffic, but there were no helmets by hand so he had to wear a construction helmet. And at the end of the week Niels and Silvia had an orientation meeting at Hasiru Dala. Next week we will be also starting an improvement project at their facility, but you will read more about this in next week update!