QUEEN’S ROAD: Now here’s an interesting fact. Every computer recycled, helps save 240 kg of fossil fuels, 22 kg of chemicals and 1.5 tonnes of water.
As is common knowledge, recycling helps recover valuable materials, and by recycling old electronics, we can save energy, reduce pollution, and save resources by extracting fewer raw materials from the earth.
A new service makes this easy by picking up e-waste free of charge from your door step. In fact, the firm rewards you for your good deed.
Achitra Borgohain, the founder of BinBag, a three-month-old start-up that has already recycled 664 kg of e-waste, first thought of the issue when he himself tried to dispose of e-waste responsibly.
“A few of the companies I got in touch with sent back automated e-mails to my queries. Another wanted me to travel all the way to Peenya to dispose of just a cell phone. Another one told me that they will not pick up waste that aggregates below 100 kg,” says Achitra.
Since statistics say that an average household generates about 21 kg of e-waste per year, it would be very rare for an individual or a small household to generate 100 kg of e-waste. “The biggest load I've picked up in the last three months was 64 kg, and that's a one-off situation. So basically, most of these e-waste recycling companies are punishing me for being an individual, rather than helping me dispose waste responsibly,” says the young entrepreneur.
BinBag picks household e-waste and sends it to authorised recyclers. Borgohain aims to create a friction-less disposal mechanism by:
Establishing disposal points across the city.
Picking up e-waste directly from houses, schools and small offices. Customers can reach the company via telephone, email or social media.
However, what separates BinBag from the rest of the e-waste recycling centres is that it also work hard at motivating waste generators to dispose of waste responsibly. “Moral obligation and concern for the environment is usually not enough. We try to recognise people's efforts and reward them for making the effort of choosing to dispose waste responsibly,” he says.
In other words, BinBag pays you to dispose of your waste, by offering you certificates as well as discount coupons from environment friendly and sustainability conscious brands. They also offer to contribute the proceeds from the sale of your e-waste to a cause. At the back end, BinBag works only with certified recyclers.
Currently, the start-up is incubated at N S Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL), IIM-Bangalore. From a one-man show, the team has now expanded to include two more people, for handling marketing and operations. “In the next few months, we'd like to scale up exponentially. We have a few people who want to start franchises of BinBag. One person has already started operating a franchise in North Bengaluru,” says Achitra.