Waste Management and Start-ups in India

Posted by Global Technology Interface on January 12, 2021

As per the latest reports, over 75% of the waste that is generated in India is recyclable but what we recycle is just 30%. It’s actually high time that waste management is taken up seriously and immediately in the country otherwise if this issue is ignored any further then in the coming years we will need a landfill site which will be equivalent to the size of the metro cities of India. As per the latest reports of the Central Pollution Control Board, less than 15% of the municipal solid waste generated is processed or treated.

For such discouraging numbers, there are various issues that are responsible for poor waste management in India, ranging from lack of policies, guidelines, planning by authorities, poor waste collection and treatment system, and lack of awareness and sensitization amongst the citizens on source segregation of waste. One of the critical steps, in order to tackle this grave issue, promoting behavioural change in the citizens and sensitize them on the importance of waste segregation i.e. into organic and inorganic components at the source, and ensure that each component is handled appropriately.

It is estimated that India will generate a business worth US $14 Billion by 2025 with an annual growth rate of 7.17% and the municipal solid waste management sector in India is projected to see capital and O&M requirement of close to USD 65 Bn by 2030.

With such promising growth in the sector and to solve India’s waste miseries, it has been lately seen that few start-ups seem to be slowly getting involved.

Currently, there are several successful start-ups that are working on different themes of waste management. There are some that are working on the upcycling of waste materials, while some have been doing great work by turning all the kitchen and other organic waste into biogas. There are some start-ups working with the major metro cities in India where they have collaborated with the informal sector to streamline the value chain of the plastic waste that is generated at the household levels. There are some start-ups that have taken up some path-breaking work in the field of electronic waste that is being generated in the big cities of India.

Recently a start-up based out of New Delhi, capital of India was lauded for its initiative where it provides a web-based recycling platform (‘Trash to Cash’ service) that helps people to dispose of recyclable waste in a responsible manner. This start-up also pays the citizens for handing over their plastic waste to them. While there is another start-up that is working in majorly all the big cities of India where it collects pre-and post-consumer packaging waste such as plastic bottles, wrappers, plastic packaging from factories, offices, hotels, motels, and institutes and converts it into products such as T-shirts, caps, bags, soft toys, apparels, and blankets.

A leading start up in Bangalore, GPS Renewables focuses on bio-methanation technologies to solve the organic waste management challenge, accelerate substitution of fossil fuel with bio-energy and play a key role in mitigating climate change. They are helping in converting organic waste into clean energy for captive usage, significantly thereby reducing the carbon footprint.

Similarly Blue Planet Environmental Solutions is providing end to end waste management solutions. They are blending appropriate segregation technologies and effectively separate waste allowing efficient and cost effective processing of resources into high-value products.

There are several such start-ups that have been doing excellent work and are being lauded for their efforts. The need of the hour is to extend the reach and accessibility of start-ups like these so that more people become aware of how to deal with waste in a more sustainable manner.

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