Namo E-waste has been able to reach 70 percent of the country’s e-waste through its waste collection centres and channel partners and has been awarded the Best Green Startup of the year 2015-16.
India, which has emerged as the world’s second largest mobile market, is also the fifth largest producer of e-waste, discarding roughly 18.5 lakh tonnes of electronic waste each year. When mixed with domestic waste, e-waste often ends up either in landfills or in incinerators, which causes toxins like lead, mercury and cadmium to leach into soil and water, thus polluting the environment.
Namo E-Waste Pvt. Ltd., an e-waste recycling startup, based out of Delhi has the solution to this staggering and piling problem of e-waste generation. The company picks up all kind of electronic waste and recycles them into different usable products.
Namo E-waste was started in 2014 by Akshay Jain, a 28-year-old from New Delhi specialising in the waste management industry. Namo E-waste came into operation in last year, with the philosophy that a useless device for someone can turn into a useful device for another. The company realised that e-waste that was negatively impacting the environment could be stimulating the economy.
During his post-graduation days in the UK, Akshay studied the organised waste management channels present there.
“All kinds of wastes are segregated, identified and disposed of as per the specified norms in all cities of the UK and a recycling mechanism is in place. I was inspired by their waste management system and started thinking about implementing the same in our country, countering the local challenges that are present here. All this led to the birth of Namo e-Waste Management Ltd.”
E-waste caught his attention because of the lack of awareness about it and also because it is the fastest growing solid waste stream. “India lacks the kind of infrastructure required for hazardous waste management and that became the inspiration to start a business in that direction,” says Akshay, who holds a master’s degree in Business Management from Greenwich University, London.
Akshay and his team took about a year to study the feasibility of the plan. Installing machinery, setting up of the plant and the approval process, all happened in 2014.
“Our purpose is to provide environmentally sound, innovative, and economic electronic waste recycling solutions to the community. We strive to provide green alternatives for today's electronic assets management dilemma and to promote policy changes that benefit the environment, health, and economy through safe disposal and recycling of electronic goods,” says Akshay.
Processing the waste
Namo E-Waste provides comprehensive and complete recycling services to get rid of electronic wastes. It is authorised by the Pollution Control Board for handling hazardous waste and e-wastes, and has the technology to extract metals from e-waste.
“Our technology is based on the manual dismantling, segregation and recycling method. We use a dry shredding and separating method to extract metals from printed circuit boards. The material is granulated to less than 5mm size and in the electrostatic separator, metals and hazardous content are completely separated. We don't have emissions from the process in the form of water or dust,” says Akshay.
Namo E-Waste has its recycling facilities and office in Faridabad, Haryana. The company has a presence in 12 states and union territories across the country in the form of collection centres, and channel partners in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Mumbai, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Wes Bengal and Tamil Nadu. Through these locations, the company has been able to reach out to 70 per cent of e-waste generated in the country.
The company collects e-waste from leading companies across India through contractual procurement. They also buy it from various institutes, organisations and smaller companies on a B2B model. “For the B2C model, we are collecting e-waste from housing societies, RWA's and houses by conducting awareness and collection drives across NCR. We have got a lot of appreciation from consumers who are aware about e-waste and are able to connect to the cause. People are willing to even donate their low value waste for charitable causes. We are looking to expand in this area and reach out to a maximum number of people through our application based venture 'Planet Namo', says Akshay.
The e-waste collected by the company is segregated and usable devices are refurbished. These are then sold through online marketplaces and a dealers’ network. The waste that is of no use is broken to extract commodities like copper, aluminium, iron, etc., which are sold to foundries, factories that produce metal castings.
“This model of business is highly competitive but through our expertise we are able to make profits,” he says.
On an average, Namo E-Waste processes about 20 tonnes of e-waste every day, across various categories like large and small appliances, IT products, PCB's and electrical wires.
The company’s staff comprises 25 professionals and technicians along with 40 skilled and semi-skilled workers.
“We look forward to expand to all 35 states and union territories in India with at least one collection centre in each. At our recycling facility, we are looking forward to install a precious metal recovery plant from e-waste to extract gold, silver etc. This will make us one of the most prominent facilities in the world. This will come at an investment of about Rs. 20 crore”
Namo E-waste has been awarded the Best Green Startup of the year 2015-16 and Refurbisher of the year in the Clean and Green India awards by Franchise India.