Do you remember how you used to (and still sometimes do) rid your home of dry wastes such as plastics, bottles, old books, and stray metals pieces? There would be someone (on a bicycle, most of the times) collecting all that to take to a scrap dealer who would then recycle and reuse it. But now, as these jobs get rarer by the day, we usually have these things lying somewhere at a corner of our homes ready to be dumped whenever possible. Many even toss these wastes at various places around the city where waste has accumulated due to random dumping.
It is to tackle this slow degradation of the city and the environment as well as to encourage people to adopt a better way of solid waste management that Blue Waste to Value Pvt. Ltd., in collaboration with its sister company, Blue Technology, has come up with a handy solution, ‘Kabaadi At Your Doorstep’.
‘Kabaadi At Your Doorstep’ is a mobile application that lets its users connect with the nearest waste collector or scrap dealer in their area. All you need to do is sign up, upload the details about your dry wastes, and chose your desired date, time, and location from where the dealers can pick up these items. The person appointed to collect your waste will then receive all the information and will get in touch with you.
“The app is an online platform that connects waste producers and the recyclers for proper waste management. This also goes a long way in preventing degradation of the environment. And you can also get some extra cash by selling things that you are actually planning to throw out,” says Suraj Jaiswal, project manager of ‘Kabaadi At Your Doorstep’.
Jaiswal mentions that ‘Kabaadi At Your Doorstep’ is the brainchild of Varun Sharaf, owner of Blue Enterprises. Sharaf has always been in search of revolutionizing ideas that can minimize waste from being dumped in the landfills. Apart from the mobile application, the company is also responsible for controlling and managing wastes of hotels like Yak and Yeti, Hyatt Regency, and different corporative offices and educational institutions. They also separately receive wastes from collectors or dealers. These collected wastes are then separated as per their category and recycled to produce things such as book holders, composts, paper cups, and many more items.
“We don’t just collect waste from one place and then dump that at another place. Instead, we use effective waste segregation methods to reuse what we can and get rid of the rest in the best possible way,” says Prasuj Mainali, assistant project manager at ‘Kabaadi At Your Doorstep’, further mentioning that the recycled products are then sold at different organizations and offices in the city.
So far, the application ‘Kabaadi At Your Doorstep’ features 14 different scrap dealers and collectors from the capital. Jaiswal mentions that these 14 members were selected from more than a 100 candidates. Apparently the team has its own selection procedure, one that’s quite elaborate. First, interested waste collectors and scrap dealers are invited to a seminar where they will learn about the app, understand the core motivation behind it as well as the roles they can play in it. The selected ones from the seminar are then briefed about the rules such as wearing uniforms and following standard cost value while buying from the customers.
In the end, only those who are receptive to these concepts get to be a part of this project. Jaiswal claims this to be the hardest part of the venture because not everyone understands the idea and is open to it. “It’s very hard to maintain the parallel relationship between our concept, waste collectors, and scrap dealers. At times, due to the overlap between our project and their work, they often feel threatened. So, it takes a long time to convince them that we are only connecting them to their customers for their own benefit. And we also try to make them aware of the role they are playing in helping to save the environment,” he says.
Today the application has been downloaded by more than 500 users and it has earned a 4.6 rating in the Google Play Store. They have also been receiving good reviews from many happy customers around the city and the app download is steadily increasing due to word of mouth. With the success it has been enjoying in Kathmandu, the team now intends to extend their services to include places outside the valley as well. They plan to take the services to Butwal and Narayanghat in the near future. Similarly, they are also planning to install some help desks in different places for all those scrap dealers who are not able to operate electronic gadgets.
The team behind ‘Kabaadi At Your Doorstep’ is doing all they can to ensure the city is clean, and that these waste collectors get a shot at a decent life, while making it easy for the public to get rid of their waste as well. Now, it falls on us to do our part and think twice before randomly chugging a big bag of recyclable waste anywhere we deem fit. After all, a simple solution is only a few clicks away.