Minting Cash From Trash – The New Startup Funda
Remember the wandering ‘kabaadiwala’ who would buy old newspapers, empty bottles and other junk in return for some cash? While it was not a lot of money, but you did get the additional satisfaction of recycling some of the house waste and thus helping the environment in the long run.
Now, startups also have entered into the waste management scene and starting doing their bit for the environment and society. These startups have found a way to recycle garbage and make money out of it. The domestic waste management industry is predicted to grow to $1 billion by 2020, but currently, there are only a handful of such waste management startups who are turning today’s trash into tomorrow’s sustainable resources.
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Here are a few of these pioneers:
Pom Pom is a web-based recycling startup that collects recyclable waste from your doorstep and pays you too. It was founded by Deepak Sethi and Kishor K Thakur and started its operations in South Delhi. All you need to do is call, send a message or send a request through their mobile app. Pom Pom aims to scale up its operations to cover all of the Delhi in the near future and cater to 10,00,000 individuals every day.
Saahas Waste Management
Headquartered in Bengaluru, Saahas Waste Management founded by Wilma Rodrigues offers end-to-end waste management services. Last year, it got funding from the Indian Angel Network and Upaya Social Ventures. It provides services to various companies, apartments, and other institutions. The company aims to process about 80 tonnes of garbage every day in the next three to five years. The company has well-thought out treatment processes for organic waste, packaging waste, and e-waste.
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Launched in Pune in early 2016, MobiTrash offers mobile waste treatment facility to treat organic dry or wet household garbage into compost and selling it to farms, the Pune Municipal Corporation for its gardens and others for landscaping purposes. A machine is installed in the mobile vans which can treat the organic household waste and carry it off to another location for subsequent composting. Within a month of its launch, the startup was already treating about 800 kgs of waste every day.
Another Bengaluru-based waste management startup, Encashea was started by three former IIT students. It offers a pick-up service for waste, anything ranging from books, newspapers, plastic waste or metal waste. You can schedule a pick-up through their mobile app. Encashea currently focuses on East Bengaluru but is looking to expand its operations soon. Encashea is backed by several angel investors.
Backed by Infuse Ventures, Karma Recycling started work in 2013. Akshat Ghiya and Aamir Jariwala founded Karma Recycling with a view to buying electronic devices such as phones, laptops, etc. and recycle them. They then sell or exchange the refurbished devices on their web portal. They usually buy devices from Tier 1 cities and sell them in smaller cities. Other devices which cannot be repaired are recycled into plastic and metal. The founders had the philosophy to reduce the negative impact of e-waste on the environment and increase the positive impact of e-waste on the economy.
Waste management has a vast untapped potential for growth. The challenges are many, logistics for collecting of waste, legal issues, proper disposal of untreated waste, but people with varied backgrounds, innovators, and pioneers are coming into this space and cleaning it up nicely.
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