Giving Waste A Second Life

Giving Waste A Second Life
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Are you still throwing out those empty cans from last night’s party? If yes, then wait a minute! Did you know that recycling one ‘aluminium can’ saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours? It’s the same with all the paper and packaging material you throw away. Recycling one ton of paper can save 17 trees! Not only this, recycling comes with a price but here you will be the one who’s earning. Entrepreneur explores start-ups that are bringing social change by catering this space.

Turn trash into Cash

The ever evolving startup space coupled with technological innovation has led to the creation of various
business models and ventures that are truly unique and are harbingers of social change. One such unique start-up is POM POM, a web-based recycling platform that helps you to dispose recyclable waste in a responsible manner at your doorstep, while paying you the best possible price for the same. Founded by Deepak Sethi and Kishor K Thakur, POM POM has started its operations in South Delhi and will be addressing the disposal needs of more than 1,000,000 individuals producing large quantities of recyclable waste every day. The best part about this startup is that it is all done via a quick call, message or putting in a request via the mobile app. “We believe that if we incentivize people to segregate at source this problem could be solved to a great extent,” says Deepak Sethi, Co-founder and CEO, Pom Pom Recycling Pvt Ltd.

Re-cycle Your Trash

Founded in April 2014, this Mumbai-based startup longs to ‘create profitable venture through environment sustainability’. The Upcycle Project endeavours to create beautiful quirky lifestyle, home decor, and gifting  products by using what one might call “trash”. They primarily use old Vinyl records and carve it out into posters, key chains, key holders and what not. “We also curate and create easy DIY ideas that can be made at home by both adults and children with everyday waste found in their own lives,” says Amishi Shah Parasrampuria, CEO and Founder, The Upcycle Project. Passionate about changing perceptions around waste and making it fun and acceptable, the team hopes to inspire creativity while looking at unrecyclable waste in urban homes.

Transforming Waste

This electronic asset management company, Attero actively promotes eco-friendly reuse and recycling of
electronics. Being an end-to-end e-waste recyclers and metal extraction company, they aim to turn today’s waste into sustainable resources for tomorrow. They extract pure metals from end- of-life electronics in an environmentally  responsible manner. As a NASA recognized technology innovator, they have developed disruptive technology that allows them to set up low cost, low capacity eco-friendly recycling plants for processing e-Waste and extracting rare earth and precious metals.“I wanted to get rid of my old laptop, and did not know what to do with it. I discussed this with my brother, Nitin, and we realized the dearth of an environmentally viable solution to dispose our electronic gadgets. With this in mind, we thought that we should use our skills to make a change in the untapped clean-tech space,” says Rohan Gupta, COO, Attero. Moreover, they also offer services like country-wide pick up, collection and tracking of electronic assets, reverse logistics management, electronics asset recovery, data security, refurbishment, e-waste recycling and disposal. They have also launched an e-commerce platform that acts as a dedicated retail channel for the direct sale of refurbished  and surplus electronics to consumers.

Sell your scrap in style

EnCashea provides an online platform to its users to sell their scarp in a style. They make selling scrap
fun while ensuring safe and environment-friendly disposal of all types of scrap and recyclable material.They collect recyclable scrap, old newspapers, electronic wastes, old plastics, metals and other scrap materials from your doorstep and give you handsome money for them.“We are already covering Bangalore and now plan to venture into other cities by the end of this year or early next year. The idea is to cover all Tier-1 Cities in India in next 4-5 years,” says PriyankJain, Co-founder, Encashea. 

Turning useless into useful

Founded in 2013, Karma Recycling was born with the philosophy that a useless device for someone can
turn into a useful device for someone else. Realizing that the e-waste that is negatively impacting our environment could positively be stimulating the economy, they choose to reuse mobile devices. The venture buys old gadgets from tier 1 cities and resells them in semi-urban cities.So, next time if you are going to throw any junk, just think once. You never know that junk could turn into someone’s else useful device or it can even make you earn some handsome money.

(Originally published in Entrepreneur India magazine's July 2016 edition)

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