The usage of disposable masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an increase in mask waste. To overcome this issue, two students from Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS), Rosalia Kurniasari from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Avelyne Christianti from the Department of Civil Engineering, have created Zero Mask Waste Box as a trash bin to process the mask waste.
The idea of this invention was inspired by the lack of people’s awareness of waste management of disposable masks. People tend to throw it away after wearing it without a proper process. This may lead to another form of virus transmission. Therefore, this issue requires innovation so that the mask waste does not mix with other domestic waste. The invention of the Zero Mask Waste Box was also intended to reduce the increased risk of COVID-19 transmission.
In the front of the Zero Mask Waste Box, there is a sensor as a tool to open the trash bin automatically. This device is equipped with buttons to make processing easier. On the inside, this device has several functions, from a mask cutter, disinfectant spray, to a suction pump. This device is also equipped with a garbage disposal tube as a final disposal space for mask waste processing. A hand sanitizer dispenser is provided as a disinfectant for users after processing the trash.
ITS students’ innovation in protecting the environment from mask waste has managed to amaze the judges in the final presentation at the 2020 Mechatronics Essay Competition last December. This invention has successfully defeated the other 80 teams and won first place in the competition held by the Mechatronics Engineering Student Association, Trunojoyo University, Madura. Rosalia hopes that this invention can be further developed to prevent more people from COVID-19 exposure.