This 13-year-old’s startup upcycles waste to make home décor products
Max Xchange, founded by Vikramjeet Singh Kanwar, collects dry and wet waste that is upcycled to make home furnishing, cushions, notepads, glassware, furniture, newspaper bin liners, planters, and others.
Who would have ever thought that in return to the waste you collect at home every day, you would receive fancy home décor products?
To address the waste management issue in the country, 13-year-old Vikramjeet Singh Kanwar studying in Delhi Public School, founded Max Xchange in 2015. The startup collects dry and wet waste, and in return gives upcycled products like home furnishing, cushions, notepads, glassware, furniture, newspaper bin liners, planters, and others.
Talking to NDTV, Vikramjeet said,
“From paper, cardboard, different types of plastic waste – multi-layer plastic, single-use plastic, PET bottles, containers, metal, glass bottles, tires, we collect all kinds of recyclables. Currently, we collect waste from over 150 locations in Gurugram, Faridabad, and some parts of Delhi. Each residential building, organisation, and society has one-two points of contact. The contact person/lead takes care of the waste collection part. We also have waste collection vehicles and a fixed timetable.”
The teenager gives the collected waste to a dedicated team, which after segregation is upcycled plastic waste. On the other hand, the startup uses machines to roll paper over graphite, and is later packed by differently-abled kids from NGOs like Red Cross Society. The children are also paid in cash for their work by the organisers.
According to Edex Live, the young social enthusiast has been collecting papers in and around his complex, and sometimes from his mother’s friend’s corporate offices as well. After collecting these newspapers, the 13-year-old sells it to buy stationery for the underprivileged children.
The turning point came to him when one woman denied donating her recyclable items. Vikramjeet said,
“She had been waiting to sell it herself to earn some money. That's when the idea hit me. Not everybody is ready to freely give away their recyclables. I had to incentivise the process so that more people would come forward and contribute,” reports Edex Live.
Also, the items returned in exchange depends upon the items received during the collection. If newspapers are collected, then the receiver would get upcycled articles made from it.
Thus Max Xchange came into being, and has been running successfully for the last two years. Now, Vikramjeet plans to expand the initiative to parts of Delhi NCR by mid-2020. For the same, the startup has tied up with corporate offices, firms, and residential societies in Gurugram, Faridabad, and other parts of Delhi to collect dry waste.
(Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan)