Project Everest

Work Update

Week 1 Update - Cambodia ERS

Matthew Rafferty
Matthew Rafferty | Dec 1, 2017 | in Knowledge Base

The December team has landed in Cambodia. We are over the moon to start moonshot thinking! Our team started by analysing what was done by the previous team, and assessing what we can bring to the table. It’s only day 4 and we have started wrapping our heads around what’s been done and how to move forward.

As a team we have made advances on several aspects of the ERS service to achieve the set monthly goals including:

  • The Collection Service and back-end processing

Overall, the previous system can be described in 5 steps.

  1. The service begins with the purchasing of bags

  2. Followed by the distribution of bags to villages

  3. Once the bags are filled

  4. They are collected and

  5. The sorting process takes place.

The newest changes to the existing service were made to strive towards a more suitable minimum viable product:

  • Implement future mobile app/automated phone prompt service. Each villager was supplied with a customer number, and the bags supplied were tagged and recorded.

  • We have ‘recruited’ one of the villagers in the Puok village who owned a truck that was more than happy to move the village waste from the village to the nearby ‘highway 6’ (for free), where GAEA currently services. He will be contacted during the development of the the pick up process. This addition reduces the need for tuk tuks to be contacted to drive from Siem Reap city to the outer villages.   

  • To gauge the degree of separation of waste, a mass based system has been used like before. Analysing volumetrically can be difficult, so we think it is the best option to use a mass based analysis.

  • The implementation of a phone based system, initially utilising the SMS platform to notify ERS that waste collection is required, has been researched and implemented in our most recent prototype testing (29/11/17). This is a major step forward in communicating with villagers and achieving one of our major monthly goals of digitising the ERS service.


Other advantages of digitisation would potentially include:

  • Transferring mobile payments, perhaps making use/partnering with the previously researched company; ‘WING’
  • A similar SMS based accompanying feedback system to aid with improvements to the service (currently being considered/researched) through Metfone?
  • Future development of a mobile application, which could encase: a feedback system, waste collection, mobile payment, village ranking system - like a game (possible incentive to use service/recycle)


  • The Prototype

The existing colour coded waste segregation idea with rice bags was kept, as feedback suggests that the colours and waste categories are effective. However a few improvements have been made:

  • The current rice bag supplier has been contacted to seek other options for bags/bins and other local research is currently being analysed. This would alleviate the issue that villagers have mentioned with bag size and material.

  • The information sheet attached to every bag has been replaced with an accompanying universal reference sheet for separation information. This change allows a concise minimum viable product.


  1. Moving forward

  • There are currently several potential partnerships which will be followed up in the coming days to try and establish interest in our service in the fields of:

    • Domestic / International (long term) waste buyers

    • General waste disposal (e.g. GAEA)

If you have any feedback for the current process, or would like clarification, please let us know. We are eager to improve the service and step closer to a cleaner Cambodia.

Also, please see the next post on our new ideas that need critique.


We’re not Project Uluru, we’re Project Everest.


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edited on 1st December 2017, 01:12 by Matthew Rafferty

Matthew Rafferty Dec 1, 2017

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Wade Tink Jul 2, 2018

Status label added: Work Update

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Ben K. 5 months ago

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