India generates around 62 million tonnes of waste by the government’s estimate, but there is no clear data on the workforce that collects, sorts, and sells it.
Earlier, Scrap dealers, or what Indians call kabadiwalas or raddiwalas used to come once a month to take away old newspapers, bottles, and other material that we needed to discard. This is not happening anymore.
But what if we tell you that an Ahmedabad based startup lets you sell your waste and buy recycled products,
Yes, you heard that right!
Hardik Shah, a resident of Ahmedabad, is an instrumentation and control engineer by qualification who after working in the information technology (IT) space for many years, decided to become an entrepreneur.
In 2017, Hardik Shah launched his cleantech startup called, Innovate Green Technologies Private Limited that offers an eco-friendly circular economy-based app, through which customers can leverage their waste to buy recycled products.
He said that the idea for this business took shape when he visited Japan in 2011 for work.
People can sell their waste for recycling and the recycled waste is then used to make new products, resulting in lower usage of environmental resources and also avoiding dumping of waste.
“In a linear economy, once the product is delivered, the transaction is closed. However, in a circular economy, there is constant activity. In doing this our aim is to move towards zero-waste cities,” says Hardik. One can get just about anything with the waste they exchange on the app.
Subscribers can buy products using waste, which include a wide range from kitchen and tableware to bathroom essentials, decorative products, and skincare products.
When the usage is over, customers can give the used products back and even earn cashback from them.
It also offers a PayByWaste feature, which users can use to encash the waste. One can also choose to donate the money available in their wallet towards any corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity.
Once the transaction is completed the subscriber is given a certificate as well.
The sustainable startup also partners with other brands to get packaging wastes picked up from their customers’ doorstep and get them recycled.
The startup claims to have helped in saving 279.56 trees, 56,490 kg of carbon emission, 37,59,645 liters of water pollution, and 54,356 sq mt of land pollution. It is said that the company has managed to divert more than 100 tonnes of waste from ending up in landfills.
Their platform has more than 80 different vendors and more than 5,000 active subscribers today. Services are currently offered only in Ahmedabad.
However, Hardik is planning to expand its services to Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, and Hyderabad in the coming years. Also, the startup aims to go global in 2025.