Bhopal startup is helping people get rid of recyclable waste from their doorstep

Founded in 2014, The Kabadiwala is a tech platform that is addressing the problem of garbage collection by providing monetary benefits to people for selling household waste.

Saturday December 17, 2022,

3 min Read

‘Waste not, want not’ is certainly an adage to live life by. But as we battle through several challenges in our busy lives, finding valuable ways to deal with our waste gets relegated to the bottom of our to-do-list.

That’s where The Kabadiwala, a scrap management tech platform, hopes to help. Founded in 2014, Bhopal-based Kabadiwala helps individuals and organizations to recycle their waste by motivating them with monetary benefits and by appealing to a larger sense of community spirit.

Explaining how it works, Anurag Asati, Co-founder, The Kabadiwala, says, “Any individual can come to our platform and find out what they can dispose of and at what price. You can then schedule a pickup at your convenience and we then send the waste for recycling.”

Interestingly, it is not just everyday household items that the platform helps with. The Kabadiwala can even help to dispose of mattresses, which often find their way to landfills due to lack of options.

Speaking about the mattress recycling initiative, Anurag says, “Currently, when you have a mattress, you don’t know what to do with it. You are dumping into a municipal vehicle and then it goes to a landfill. We at The Kabadiwala have diverted 1,700 mattresses from landfills and if you have an old mattress to dispose of, we can help you do that responsibly and you will even get vouchers for your responsible contribution.”

He goes on to add that whatever waste is being sold to The Kabadiwala, the sellers are informed about how many trees have been saved due to their contribution, how much material has been diverted from landfills, etc.

The platform, which has diverted 1,80,000 kgs of material from landfills and saved approximately 25,000 trees, is currently present in five cities, including Bhopal, Indore, Nagpur, Raipur, and Lucknow. However, post its funding of $2 million by Roots Ventures in November 2022, it expects to be in 25-30 cities by next year, including Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Ahmedabad. The Kabadiwala also works closely with 500 plus brands to dispose of their recyclables.

Anurag says, “We help organisations to dispose of their waste with Pollution Control Board compliances. About 500 brands work with us for plastic take back programme, EPR, and waste disposal mechanisms. It’s not just about picking up scrap.”

In the next year, the Kabadiwala hopes to empower 5,000 ragpickers by working with them directly, and 20,000 ragpickers indirectly in its attempt to create more green jobs.

Edited by Megha Reddy