Ever wondered if there could be a solution to the clogging problem in Namma Ooru? Well, save your thoughts while this Bengaluru lad, Ferdin Sylvester’s new invention may be the solution to Bengaluru’s clogging drains!
He started his journey in the solid waste management industry right after he finished his Masters in Environmental Engineering from Singapore. He says, “I realised that I could use my recent knowledge and combine it with my old experience, to tweak the ways in which problems are tackled, like in controlled and developed places like Singapore and Europe, which are quite similar to Bengaluru. And of course, which suits the Indian context of low costs, high volumes and dis-organised management.”
That is when he designed and created a machine called the Therminator. It is a machine similar to a refrigerator and compresses kilos of thermocol into small masses using heat, pressure and gravity and can reduce a batch of thermocol to 80percent of its volume. Apart from just building the machine as a point solution for compacting Thermocol, Ecobel has been connecting vendors, recyclers, garbage collectors to build a holistic self-sustaining ecosystem that makes recycling of Thermocol profitable.
Ferdin says, “Currently, I’m raising awareness about the recycling potential of Thermocol. If citizens make sure the Thermocol reaches the DWCCs in Bengaluru, then Ecobel and Therminator will ensure that Thermocol will cease to be a waste that ends up on the streets, getting burnt or clogging up the sewer system.”
Ferdin strongly believes that solid waste management is a serious issue in the city, “The waste that we produce is properly handled, upcycled or recycled with landfill or incineration being the very last option. We need to remember that the waste that we throw away, will find a way back to us.”
Right now, his main focus is on taking forward his design of the Therminator. He is overjoyed when he sees people’s reaction, “I love the awareness that Therminator has generated on Thermocol recycling. When people tell me ‘Ferdin I didn’t know Thermocol could be recycled’, it just brings a happy grin to my face,” he says.
As Bengaluru always looks at short-term problem solving for the city, Ferdin believes, “The solution to the clogging problem is a multi-pronged one and I have a long list of suggestions. We need to rethink and plan keeping in mind that nature is here to help us.”
But, apart from his passion on building unique solid waste management equipments and machines Ferdin is also a writer and a rock climber. He further shares his interests outside of work, “Lately, I have been meeting a lot of people from outside the environmental sector, informally debating the different problems and solutions and understanding how things are interconnected; Journalists, politicians, economists and social workers, etc. It is only through such discussions and mashing ideas together can we create a holistic solution to get things back on track.”