We all are familiar with the kabadiwalas (scrap dealers) whom we have either seen walking on lanes with a cart or behind shops where they collect scrap. Despite thousands of scrap dealers, India still struggles with the problem of mismanaged waste. Huge part of this problem can be solved if we recycle our waste more and more. Here are two people who infused this idea with technology and built a remarkable start-up.
Kishor Thakur and Deepak Sethi came up with a start-up named Pom Pom, a web-based recycling platform that helps in disposal of segregated recyclable waste from households, offices, and other places. Kishor is a graduate from Delhi University and had as a retired army officer. While, Deepak Sethi, born in Bangalore, completed his MBA from Australia. Both of them were working for a waste management company that familiarized them with the problems faced because of the unsegregated waste.
Their interest increased and in November 2015, they decided to go online where people can sort their waste or recyclables and sell it to the team of Pom Pom and also get paid for it.
This Delhi-based start-up raised an initial investment of Rs one crore and launched an app and a website. Here, people can call Pom Pom to collect their waste from their locations. Armed with electric weighing scales, Pom Pom team is able to pay instant cash to its customers, according to the weight of waste. The rates are fixed for different categories of waste. The collected trash is then accumulated at their collection centre and sold to the end-recyclers for recycling.
This is not only helping out to reduce the waste but is also creating benefits for the rag pickers, who collect waste from the streets.
What differentiates Pom Pom from other waste management start-ups and scrap dealers is that Pom Pom not just classifies paper, metal, and plastic as waste but also accepts cardboard, hand wash bottles, and even toothpaste tubes. It also accepts electronic waste like CDs, motherboard, chargers etc. Pom Pom also encourages people to segregate their waste so that it becomes eligible for recycling instead landing in landfills.
Pom Pom has 11 vehicles, 30 staff members, and a small team at their call centre. With having established operations in South-Delhi, pom Pom is expanding its roots in the entire state. The capital, today, is one of the important states facing a major problem in waste management.
The firm not only focuses on households but also reaches out to corporate offices, hotels, and hospitals. According to Deepak, shopping bags, plastic, and paper are 100 percent recyclable. It’s just that the people are unaware about the benefits of segregating waste.
The Indian population is not used to segregating waste or recycling it. Instead the land is falling short to accommodate waste in various states. India generates 5.6 million metric tonne of plastic waste annually, with Delhi generating the most of at municipality at 689.5 metric tonne every day, according to a report from the Central Pollution Control Board. With this deplorable scenario, it has become absolutely necessary to make collective efforts for a better waste management.
This initiative needs our support and encouragement. Please share this story so that more and more people are aware of the need to reduce, recycle, and reuse. If you have taken Pom Pom’s services in the past, you can share your experience in the comments below.