Garbage management or waste management is one such sector in India that is poorly managed and is also one such sector in India where there is a lot of scope for improvement. The cities, towns and villages in India do not have enough waste processing plants to properly treat waste of any kind (dry waste, wet waste, e-waste etc.). As a consequence, most of the household, corporate and industrial wastes get dumped in random locations causing soil pollution among other health hazards. Sometimes these wastes are dumped near villages and towns. The wet waste becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes of all kinds and they cause widespread epidemics (malaria, filaria, dengue, chikungunya etc.) at times. Since the villages and towns in India do not have enough doctors or clinics, most of the affected patients die due to these diseases. However, it is heartening to note that a few waste management startups have been founded and a few of them even got funded over the past few years. These waste management startups in India manage wastes of different kinds and some even convert them into useful products like cooking gas (butane or methane), ethanol etcetera. Read more on Waste Management
One such waste management startup is Green Era Recyclers, which is a seven month – old, e-waste (electronic waste) recycling startup based in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. The startup was founded by Prasanth Omanakuttan and Syam Premachandran. The startup recycles electronic waste (e-waste) such as mobile phone chargers, mobile phones, adaptors, calculators, old wires, bulbs, printers, television, wall clocks, remote controls, washing machines, etcetera, generated by households, corporates and industries which mostly get dumped into regular garbage bags and as a consequence, do not get treated or recycled and end up polluting the soil as non – biodegradable wastes. Since its inception, the startup has recycled around 10 tonnes of electronic wastes generated mostly by Indian cities and towns. As a reward, the startup has recently got a five-year authorization from the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) to recycle 150 tonnes of e-waste annually!
According to a survey conducted by the startup, Coimbatore alone (which is the Manchester of India) generates 2,500 tonnes of e-waste annually, most of which until recently, went unsegregated and untreated. First, the e-waste is collected from homes, corporates and factories. Then it is segregated into hazardous and non-hazardous waste. Then some of the non – hazardous waste is recycled and refurbished into useful products like remote controls, wall clocks, set-top boxes, etcetera. The hazardous waste is dismantled or decomposed.
Green Era is in talks with Coimbatore Corporation to collect e-waste from houses in one or two wards initially.
“We have designed a special bin for households. It has four compartments to collect bulbs, wires, printers and toners and miscellaneous items. We will pay an amount for most of these and collect them”, Prasanth said.
Coimbatore Corporation has asked for details on how the startup collects and recycles e-waste, which the startup will submit by 23/11/2017. The recycling and refurbishing of non – hazardous waste is done in Coimbatore and the hazardous waste is sent to Chennai for safe dismantling or decomposition. The startup was founded with an investment of Rs. 15 lakhs from the founders and has a research unit that designs and develops machinery for recycling.
“We now have shredders, extruders, and cable strippers”, says Mr. Prasanth.
The startup’s machinery and very cost – effective and efficient compared to commercially available ones. The startup plans to commercialize its machinery soon.
“We will go for external funding after developing our machinery”, Prasanth said.
Startups like Green Era Recyclers are the need of the hour as far as India is concerned because India is lacking in the number of waste processing plants required to treat garbage safely and properly. The government of India should fund, incubate, mentor and promote more of such useful and innovative startups. The other waste management startups in India that got funded this year include the floral waste management startup, Help Us Green, which raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Blume Ventures during January, this year (2017) and the waste management and healthcare startup, Saathi, which makes biodegradable sanitary pads from banana fibres, raised an undisclosed amount from You Caring during January, this year (2017). Read more on Startup News
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