CHENNAI: “The only option that people have always had in the city to dispose junk from their homes are the street vendors, whether they like the rates that they get in return or not,” says Joseph Jegan, who founded the waste management website, Kuppathotti.com, along with his wife Sujatha. “The problem with their system is that they do not care too much about the collected polythene bags, as it is of no use to them. It’s very less in weight and not cost effective to them,” he adds. The biggest difference between their website’s business model and street vendors is that however cost effective, every element of the disposed junk will be given the same treatment and will be disposed of completely. “There won’t be even a shred of waste after we’ve sold off our collected junk to wholesalers,” Jegan affirms.
Kuppathotti.com is a website that allows users to sell accumulated waste, be it newspapers, old milk packets, plastics, electronics or metal scraps. A detailed list of prices of each category of waste is available on the website. “Many times, people are surprised at the rate they get at the end of the transaction. This is because, all these years, they were cheated by the scales of roadside waste collectors. But our scales are spot-on accurate,” informs Jegan. Why, he remembers how a client once even put a 500g-packet of a health drink on their scales to check for accuracy. (And they passed with flying colours!)
When the couple started the website four months ago with approximately 90 members, they knew that they wanted to create an awareness, but execution was the concern. “We decided on a website because it is the most convenient option now. Everyone can easily raise requests,” says Jegan. The website now has over 4,500 members.
The point of focus of the website, apart from changing the mindset of people when it comes to disposing waste, is the structured disposal waste. “We advice customers to segregate their waste according to categories provided on our website,” explains Jegan.