Waste Ventures Charities

Waste Ventures changes the paradigm of 'collect and dump' garbage practices in emerging market cities into a commercially competitive model of environmental solid waste management owned by waste pickers. In doing so, Waste Ventures, over the next 10 years, will create a sector that will alleviate poverty for 20 million people and annually eliminate 350 million tons of garbage from developing city dumps.
Jun 14, 2013

Waste Ventures Fellows drive top-down change

Mr. Chandan
Mr. Chandan's happy to be done loading the tractor

Dear All,

I hope this project update finds you happy and well.

As we work towards our goal of shifting the entire waste management sector to introduce sustainable practices, and include waste pickers, we’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how to accelerate our rate of change. We recognize that this is a huge task that we can’t do alone, no matter how many of India’s 5,000 Motihari-like towns we are able to reach.

While there are other waste management service providers already operating in some parts of India, they often fail to do more than secondary collection and dumping of the waste. (Secondary collection is when waste is taken from set ‘transfer stations’, instead of the from in front of the house itself). As a result, much of the waste is left uncollected because the households don’t consistently get it to the transfer point. The portion of waste that is collected is not processed, but just dumped, as contracts are structured to pay for ton of waste taken to landfill. Worse yet, this payment structure pits waste companies against informal waste pickers, as waste pickers decrease the volume of waste dumped, and thus decrease the companies’ revenue stream.

Despite the broken system that these waste companies propagate, they already have an expansive presence in 40-50 of India’s largest cities. In April, Waste Ventures launched a Fellowship program to place environmentally focused business-savvy professionals with progressive waste companies interested in implementing positive change to the waste sector. Our Fellows come from top-tier consultancies and financial services backgrounds, are driven by a passion to build environmentally sustainable businesses, and are constantly looking for problems to solve. They are paired with the strategy team of our partner waste companies in India, analyzing their operations and local markets for opportunities to introduce sustainable processing, and to include the informal sector. Not even two months into the program, we already have three proposed business-model transformations on the discussion table – all of which hold opportunity to increase waste recovery by over 30%, double informal waste picker involvement, and all while improving company revenues.

As we continue to develop our own projects that employ waste pickers and serve India’s smaller towns and cities with low-tech waste solutions, we look forward to this new opportunity to tackle the waste issues in India’s mega-cities as well. ‘The more the merrier’ couldn’t be more true as we seek to leverage the combined strength of organizations across the sector, in a bid to shift short-sighed ‘collect and dump’ practices to adequate recovery and reuse of India’s 120,000 daily tons of waste.

If you have any ideas on how to further accelerate our rate of change, would like to participate in the Fellowship Program, or just want to say hi, you can always reach us at any of the following:

admin@wasteventures.org
http://www.wasteventures.org/
http://www.facebook.com/WasteVentures
@WasteVentures

Thank you for being a part of our journey!

All the best,

Tiffany and the Waste Ventures team

Feb 7, 2013

Waste Ventures launches services in Bihar

Motihari, Bihar
Motihari, Bihar

Dear All,

I hope this updates finds you well!

It's been a few months since our last project update in October, though the time seems to have flown. At the start of November last year, we launched our first project in the state of Bihar - contemporary India’s third-largest state with a population of over 100 million. It’s also one of the least developed in terms of access to infrastructure such as good roads, schools, health facilities, and almost no waste management system to speak of. We’ve set up shop in the northern town of Motihari* to start out with, and will use this as our base from which to launch a cluster of services to small cities and towns in Bihar.

When we arrived, Motihari’s waste management system was particularly decrepit. The city has grown up around a large S-shaped lake, which is also the source of much of the fish in the local diet. As migration from the rural areas has accelerated, the town population has nearly doubled in the last 15 years. Coupled with rising consumerism and access to packaged products, the city finds itself in the midst of a waste management crisis.

The best efforts to combat the piles of waste accumulating on street corners, is to hire a few trucks with laborers to scrape up waste from these piles around the city and get rid of it. As disposal is not regulated, none of the waste is processed, and the 15-20% that is collected is simply dumped in the most central open area – the lake. The result has been the literal transformation of the once-picturesque lake into a dumpsite, where algae now choke the lake and its fish.

Waste Ventures has introduced its ‘EasyBin’ service in a residential area, serving about 5% of the city and employing 7 waste pickers to start collecting and processing waste from this small test area. The response has been phenomenal - with 97% of customers paying the collection fee already in the first month of service, and residents in other parts of the city clamoring for us to expand into their areas.

We are thrilled with the response and eager to carry the momentum forward. Cleaning up all of Motihari will reduce greenhouse gases by more than 2,000 tons of CO2-equivalent each year, and provide safe employment to about 150 waste pickers.

Thank you for your support in making it possible to be where we are, and for continuing to celebrate these small steps forward with us!

 

Best wishes to you and your loved ones for the New Year,

Tiffany and the Waste Ventures team

Lalbabu and Naveen pose under an EasyBin banner
Lalbabu and Naveen pose under an EasyBin banner

Links:

Oct 19, 2012

Final report

Hi everyone,

Since the money have been disbursed it has come to good use of the families in the slum. Even if we didn't raise the full amount needed, others have contributed to the organizations working on the ground and some elements of the lives of these families have been restored.

Naturally this is only maintaining the status quo and in no way a permanent solution to their problems. It was a horrific incident but now as winter is approaching again in northern India it will certainly not be the last time it has happened. 

In the end, our goal at Waste Ventures is to ensure that we can take people living and working as waste pickers out of the slums and poverty and into better, healthier ways of working and living. That is our aim and what we work permanently for. If you want to learn more about our long term work do visit our website - www.wasteventures.com . We are currently starting up multiple projects across India where we are integrating waste pickers in a formal collection system providing them with higher incomes and better conditions to work under.

We're very happy that you've supported our work and we hope that you'll keep yourself update through our newsletters, Twitter or Facebook!

Best regards,

Waste Ventures

Links: