Getting Down to Business: Cell Phone-Powered Poop Tracking in Cap Haitien

Business efficiency isn’t something that often comes up when discussing ecological sanitation. Most people talk about waste collection, transportation, ideal composting temperatures, cover material, pathogen die-off….the list goes on. However, business is an incredibly important aspect of ecological sanitation work, and a vital part of SOIL’s operations. At our office in Cap-Haitien, SOIL has been collaborating with several Stanford engineers, working on implementing a social business model for providing household sanitation in Haiti. This week, our Stanford friends have discovered a system for tracking collection data on the go, using smart phones!

The SOIL team is going high tech, using smart phones to streamline poop collection and compost production. Using an open source data collection platform called Open Data Kit, the team can record and track all of the composting and collection data from their phones, streamlining the process and cutting down on errors. Finding and implementing technologies and systems to improve efficiency can help SOIL minimize costs and maximize user satisfaction. And as an added bonus, the team looks super snazzy entering data into their smart phones!

Testing out the new technology in the Cap office!

The new smart-phone based system can provide much more than data collection, though. The original re.source blog post extolls the broader potential of the new system:

The data we collect will give us a better understanding of how fast our customers are filling their waste containers, how efficient we are, and where we can cut costs. For now, waste collection frequency is a huge cost driver, and we’ll use our data to optimize collection routes and hopefully even predict future collection needs.

(To see the full blog post, click here.)


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