With a population of over 125 crores, waste management has become a serious issue in India — like really serious. So serious an issue it is, that the Prime Minister’s first pet project post assuming office was a ‘Swach Bharat’ (Clean India) campaign.
We are generating huge amounts of waste at an alarming rate without having any proper methods in place for its disposal. Plus, there is a lack of awareness among common public regarding efficient techniques of reuse and recycle of waste items.
The government has begun Swachh Bharat initiative on a large scale but there are hardly any localized or private players who are solely dedicated towards solving this problem. However, two individuals Anant Avinash and Gaurav Joshi observed that western countries are not only managing the waste but also turning it into resource management these days.
Taking inspiration from them, they finally came up with the idea of ExtraCarbon to solve this problem in India. ExtraCarbon is a platform where users can sell their waste products and old recyclable items and get cash or shopping credits in return.
Extracarbon sets up a network of local waste collectors or ‘Kabadiwalas’ at each location and organizes them into a team of Green Super Heroes. They collect recyclable waste materials from users and sell it to ExtraCarbon for better margins. People can use ExtraCarbon to arrange pickups from homes and buy or sell second hand items.
The platform then sorts these materials and segregates them into different categories. Then they send these materials to respective industries for further production. In this way, it is trying to transform the entire recyclable waste pick up process from collection, logistics, recycling and reducing the landfill.
People who want to sell waste and old recyclable items can easily do so in three easy steps on ExtraCarbon:
- They need to fill an online form or call the ExtraCarbon team with their pickup or product details. The team calculates the selling price of products and give updates to users via e-mail, SMS or phone. A user can then call/SMS/Whatsapp them as well as send a web request to arrange the service.
- On receiving confirmation from the user, the team informs the nearest ExtraCarbon representative (Green Super Hero) who comes to the doorstep of users to collect the items. After fast weight & condition, users get paid on the spot in the form of Jhoomley credits. These credits can be used for mobile phones/DTH topup, electricity bill payments, buying groceries etc.
- The recyclable waste is then taken to ExtraCarbon collection center, where they segregate the waste items for recycling & send them to the concerned recyclers.
The ground team of Extra Carbon works in sync with their operation team’s instruction to identify local waste collectors in a locality from where they see a surge in pickup request.
After that they take a street by street approach and identify the right people for including them in their teams. The company provides them training and simulation tests after which it assigns pickup lists to them.
The Extracarbon Edge
ExtraCarbon is working on one of its kind solution to an age old problem by capturing the spirit of modern trend of circular economy in businesses. It leverages mobile and social technology to achieve growth by smarter use of existing, wasted capacity in the built environment.
Moreover, it works in cooperation with local waste collectors or ‘kabadiwalas’ to make the collection process easy and smooth. With the help of Jhoomley credits, Extra Carbon has been able to convert this cash business into cashless.
Jhoomley Credits (JC) is a currency which users get by disposing dry waste or used items on ExtraCarbon. They are able to get 20% more than cash value. One can redeem this JC at www.jhoomley.com or convert the entire credits into PayTM money. Maths of converting into PayTM is easy 1 JC=1 PayTM Money= 1 Rupee.
Amongst other new features that ExtraCarbon offers, is their offline product catalogue where people can exchange their waste for a new product. The company is looking to add more partnerships in near future, aiming to expand the conversion of waste into wealth – or trash to credits – to other products/services.
Jhoomley platform is based on Python with Django framework. The main platform where users interact with ExtraCarbon is a CMS but a hard-coded web platform done on PHP and codeigniter. By using this technology, they are able to deploy single sign-on process for both websites.
In the database, ExtraCarbon stores data as per the pattern of the request. For example, used items images gets stored in a separate folder , while regular pickups are logged in another file. It has not performed any deletion of data so far.
Journey so far and the road ahead
ExtraCarbon has immense potential to solve waste management problem in the country. It has so far managed to raise Rs 2 crores from two high networth individuals and Jaarvis Accelerator. The company is currently working on its mobile app for both Green Super Heroes and users.
The app will help GSHs find the addresses, raise invoices & transfer credits to users. They can also raise a request for loan, if they want, from within the same app which will also notify them at every step of the process.
The ExtraCarbon team has also created a virtual warehouses software which will be mapped with the GSH logins. It will probably help in better management of materials from doorstep pickup to recycling factory.
The company is working towards offering more value to user than just cash. By utilising technology, it can create a cashless model which can help in recognizing the black economy of this business. In future, corporates and industries who generate huge amount of wastes every day, can also utilise this system to dispose of bulk of scrap in wholesale to the growing network of Green Super Heroes.