When was the last time you felt good for generating waste? There are 3500 families in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad who feel really good every time they sell their kabaadi. And that is thanks to an innovative start-up in town that has made a virtue out of selling or rather buying scrap.
For every kilo of waste that online kabaadi collection service, Crapbin gathers from customers, a part of the proceeds goes towards sponsoring the education of needy children in the twin-cities. Crapbin allows you to book the service online for dry and recyclable waste like books, newspapers, paper, cardboard, glass bottles, plastic, steel, iron, aluminium, copper, tin, brass and electronic items. This waste is segregated and supplied to waste recycling companies for onward processing.
The nearly two-year-old social venture, founded by brothers Nisar Ahmed, Muquayyar Ahmed and Zuber Quresh, offers doorstep waste-collection services to households. “Right now, we are focusing only on dry waste primarily plastic, electronic waste and paper,” says Zubair.
Like most such ventures personal experience and necessity is the root cause for why Crapbin was born from the need to dispose building materials and some electronic waste after the renovation of their own house a few years back. With few neighbourhood kabaadiwalas willing to take it, the idea for the start-up struck Zuber.
A thorough research on the industry followed to find out where the waste came from and where it went in the city. To their dismay, or perhaps luck, the brothers found that waste disposal services in the city were woefully wanting and thus the idea for Crapbin was born.
Comprising all of 25 people, including four managers, the crapbin team, gathers a little over 50 tonnes per month from various areas in the city where people aware of its services place pick-up orders on its website.
To date, Crapbin would have recycled over 900 tonnes of dry waste, including a lot of paper, and putting it back into circulation in some form or the other, equivalent to having saved over 50,000 trees and saving nearly a million litres of water.
Crapbin allows you to book the service online for dry and recyclable waste like books, newspapers, paper, cardboard, glass bottles, plastic, steel, iron, aluminium, copper, tin, brass and electronic items. This waste is segregated and supplied to waste recycling companies for onward processing. Polythene is not yet part of the list as recycling it is complicated.
And no, Crapbin is not like the average aggregator start-up like food delivery services that bring together individual service providers and offers discounts. Every person who comes to pick up the kabaadi or raddi is an employee and trained by the brothers themselves. “We cannot afford to use the services of the regular kabaadiwala as they have to go into the houses of customers and they need to be trustworthy and trained, says Zuber.
Crapbin has set up three segregating yards in the city and is looking to add one more in Secunderabad soon.
While, some may look at it raddi collection as a commercial proposition, for us it is predominantly a social endeavour with an environmental and a social service objective, he adds. Though at the scale it could also make some money.
For now, however, Crapbin is primarily funded by the eldest of the brothers who returned from a stint in the Gulf and has some resources to contribute, informs Zuber. But expanding further would require additional funds and they are on the lookout for social venture funds, he adds.
And if everything works out well, in a couple of years the brothers hope to set up their own recycling plant as their collection service expands.