These mod raddiwalas will collect dry waste and reward you with upcycled stationery! 

Hyderabad-based RaddiBazaar understood very early on that it is important to incentivise people for segregating their waste. Thus, using this point, they have devised their whole model. This is it
Their recycling plant | (Pic: RaddiBazaar Industries)
Their recycling plant | (Pic: RaddiBazaar Industries)

There is a reason why newspapers and other scrap materials are accumulated at homes and then once raddiwalas (scrap collectors) visit, they are promptly sold off to him. At least this has been the practice at most homes. "It was known that even old newspapers have some value, so households would carefully collect them in exchange for money. I strongly believe that for waste management, people need to be incentivised too. Giving them dustbins of different colours won't do," says Vivek Agarwal, the director of RaddiBazaar Industries who hope to help you with your waste.

That's why, in exchange for all the dry waste they collect from housing societies, small malls, chain of retail shops and so on, they also weigh it and pay accordingly along with offering recycled stationery too. But in the last year of their functioning, they have moved from waste aggregators to waste recyclers, especially of polypropylene woven bags — meaning your polythene bags, rice and milk packets and so on. They have their own 1,500 square yard recycling unit at Kothur, Nandigama to recycle dry waste and what they can’t is forwarded to other industries who can. 

Ashwin Reddy, Vivek Agarwal and Abhishek Reddy are the directors of the start-up 

Vivek Sanjay Agarwal, while en route from Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh where they plan to set up their second unit, tells us that they want to set up several small recycling units where all the waste that they collect will be segregated. The waste is then washed, dried mechanically and then recycled into plastic granules that can be reused by the plastic industry via injection moulding to make chairs, buckets and other plastic products. Sounds cool, no? They have gone from recycling 70 tons to 150 tons per month currently.

In the pre-COVID era, RaddiBazaar had kiosks at four housing societies and a few marketplaces in Hyderabad where people could drop off their dry waste and pick up recycled stationery items. Children would frequent this kiosk to pick out the stationery themselves. "It was a great way for them to understand that waste also has value and that's the kind of mindset we wanted to cultivate," says the 30-year-old who runs RaddiBazaar with two other directors, Abhishek and Ashwin Reddy. 

Abhishek Reddy feels that waste collection processes must be customised and Ashwin Reddy agrees while adding that management of waste needs to be organised

For now, the operational team of 12 schedules all pick-ups in a way that makes operational sense and collects up to four to five tons a day. But what we like the most is that every quarter, a detailed report makes its way towards you so that you can understand how much scarp you have responsibly recycled, including the break up of paper, cardboard and other segments. It also tells you how much water and how many trees you have saved thanks to recycling. So not only are you incentivised as per the waste you accumulate but also made to feel really good about it — a winning combo, we'd say. "It is very important to reward this behaviour. Because that's the only way to encourage sustained efforts towards waste management. They need to see value in their waste then they will automatically make it a habit to be mindful," he says.    

"The unorganised sector holds huge potential for innovation across the country, exactly why we feel the waste collection and processing can be streamlined and that is our goal," says Vivek who pursued Civil Engineering from University of Birmingham, UK. Over the two years of their functioning, they have managed to raise Rs 1.2 crore which is helping them broaden their horizons and keep wastage out. Get it? 

Their team

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