After enjoying a refreshing drink or munching on a chips packet it has become a reflex action for us to just throw it away. However, some of us are in habit of hoarding plastic bottles, aluminium cans, and old glass containers at our homes, waiting for the “Messiah” aka our local kabaddi Wala to collect and relieve us from the burden of stocking the junk for few pennies.
Here is a deal. What if you could get a recharge for your phone, free pizza, or shop online by dumping a plastic bottle or a can into a vending machine?
Yes, it is possible. A team of innovators from Delhi are making it possible through their initiative called “We-Convert”. It is a concept where you can insert a plastic bottle/aluminium cans or glass scraps into technologically smart e-collectors and get cool rewards ranging from a free burger to online shopping vouchers. This concept will also give you a satisfaction of doing your bit for the environment.
“Through We-Convert, we aim to empower the user to recycle plastic/PET bottles, aluminium cans, and glass scraps. The process is fairly simple, all one need to do is drop in the trash and follow few simple instructions on the machine. The machine recognises the scrap and segregates it into a dedicated cavity. After which the machine generates a five-digit code that can be redeemed against vouchers by dialling a simple USSD code,” says 22-year-old Ashutosh Srivastava, Co-founder of We-Convert.
The initial journey of “We-Convert”
Graduates from Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Sciences (Delhi University) Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Sciences (Delhi University) Pranav Manocha, Ashutosh, and their team of five people from Delhi took the idea of “recycling very seriously.” But they were novices to the world of recycling and not sure about the acceptance of the concept by the people. After researching for a couple of months helped them hit the right nail, the crux of human nature. We often pursue things which are rewarding in nature. Hence, We-Convert was born in 2015.
The firm is tied up with The Guardian, Parth Das Sharma’s recycling portal, The Kabadiwala.com, Synergy Sourcing, Rajasthan and HK industries some of the big players in the recycling industry who buy these raw materials and recycle them into usable products. On an average 10 kgs of non-biodegradable waste is collected. They are also partnered with more than 50 big brands which help the rewarding part of the initiative.
Segregation of waste has been a herculean task in urban India. Municipal corporations of the several metropolitan cities have tried hard to implement a scheme which would help in reducing the amount of trash ending up in landfills. The only solution to the mounting problem is to recycle. By recycling 10 million pet bottles, one million square yards of landfill can be saved.
But, there a gap in the system between the collection of raw materials which are our non-biodegradable waste and everyone may not be keen on recycling. With the help of these compact sized and easy to operate machines, it is easy for anybody to help segregate waste and it is rewarding too.
The impact and the road ahead
The initiative has gained momentum in many parts of Delhi and so far has garnered more than 5,000 users. More than 700 kg of waste have been recycled, which has been collected and segregated with the help of e-collectors. The waste management industry is growing exponentially and amounts to $400 billion. The firm is generating a revenue of more than two lakh in a month and is planning to expand and start the initiative Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru. The platform is raising funds to support and expand their initiative.
“The primary aim of our company is to promote the ideology of Swachh Bharat to work towards a sustainable future and to spread awareness about waste disposal and revolutionise the way people treat their waste,” says Ashutosh.
Through their initiative, these entrepreneurs are making your trash count and help you support the environment.