Garbage For Chocolate, Seems Like A Sweet Deal?

If you were rewarded with chocolate every time you threw out your garbage, would you be less likely to litter? We think so, too.

And that’s precisely the plan behind TechBin, a new business in India founded by two Mumbai University MBA graduates Abhijit Deokar and Ganesh Jadhav.

From New Dehli to Mumbai, India certainly has a trash issue. Many companies have been trying to help clean up the mess, but it keeps piling up. TechBin, however, may hold the bag by incentivizing the public to do their part.

Just as Pavlov trained his dogs, TechBin uses conditioning to encourage good habits: When someone deposits garbage into a TechBin, they’re rewarded, as the machine dispenses a piece of chocolate. Pretty sweet, right?

TechBin connects back to two of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s focused projects — Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Make in India — and just landed its first client: the town of Lonavla, where the first Lonavla International Film Festival India kicks off Sept. 1. More than 50 films will be showcased, with celebrities like Govind Nihalani, Shyam Benegal and Ketan Mehta slated to make appearances. This, of course, is perfect for TechBin — festivals generate garbage, after all.

Seven TechBins have been installed in Lonavla, with three more on the way. Each TechBin costs 45,000 Indian rupees (about $672) to manufacture, but costs are offset by on-bin advertisements. Not surprisingly, Lonavla’s TechBins will, at first, feature the new film festival.

TechBin’s founders say they notice a connection between incentives and rewards, especially when it comes to keeping municipal areas looking their best. Lonavla’s municipal councils have lauded TechBin for encouraging best practices for waste disposal and helping locals develop good habits.

The business has also developed a mobile phone app that helps people locate nearby bins, and app users can also receive coupons for — you guessed it — more chocolate.


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