This time we arranged an interview with the co-founder of Savana solutions, Prashant Shukla. In 2016 he was the winner of the start-up in residence program with his idea to clean The Hague with an app, the My Clean City app. Read the full interview about Prashant Shukla below!
Why did you enter the Startup in Residence Program?
Well, I have been living in The Hague for nearly a decade and I wasn’t planning on staying for such a long period of time, however I fell in love and never left. When I learned about the Start-up in Residence program, I saw it as my chance to give something back to this wonderful city.
How did you come up with the idea of the My Clean City app?
The Start-up in Residence program published 9 challenging problems that the city was facing in 2016, one of them was regarding ‘ORAC bijplaatsingen’. Reading about the topic I realized it was about waste which is placed beside the underground containers by residents. A pile of this waste can attract vermin such as seagulls and rats, this can be a great annoyance for the residents, furthermore it is a hassle for the garbage disposal workers as the steel plate has to be material free for them to empty the container with the help of a crane.
This ‘challenging problem’ is caused by people and I wanted to come up with a solution which would motivate & inform residents to stop placing their waste beside the underground waste containers. Knowing if the ORAC are clogged or full before leaving your house to dispose of your waste, will deter residents from disposing their waste at that time. If a resident has a couch or a child’s bike that they are getting rid of, but it is still in good condition, they can share it with their community, allowing others the chance to come and fetch the goods before throwing them away or disposing the goods beside the containers (or calling 14070).
Moreover, as an added motivational factor, we enable the residents to collect points which they can redeem for themselves or collectively as a community. This can be a green reward (digitally imprinted tree in The Hague) or other.
My motto is, prevention is better than cure.
Why do you think the app will help?
I believe that there currently is somewhat of a gap between the residents and the municipality of The Hague. The My Clean City app will make it easier for the residents to communicate directly with the municipality. During the pilot, we will focus on smaller issues such as waste placed beside the ORAC, the underground waste containers, we will add more features later on.
Do you think my clean city app is also applicable in different cities?
Most definitely it is a scalable solution with a few technical adjustments it can be implemented in many areas.
Can the app be used for different purposes? Can other municipalities make use of the app?
The app can be applied in the same manner in different municipalities, but it will also be possible to tweak the app a little bit and use different features for different municipalities.
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