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.
Oct 4, 2012

Waste Ventures employs 26 new waste pickers in Damanjodi

Doorstep collection & segregation
Doorstep collection & segregation

I hope this message finds you well!

Waste Ventures is pleased to provide you with an update on some recent strides we’ve been making in sustainable waste management in India. You might remember from our last update the work that we were doing in India’s heartland – Indore, Madhya Pradesh – to improve the efficiency and quality of our partner’s composting process. The results of our work there was to more than halve the time required to turn organic waste into compost, which has effectively doubled the capacity of their eight small-scale composting plants located in residential colonies across the city of Indore.

Back then, we were also aiming to expand services to a new city, and we now provide door-to-door collection for 18,000 people in the town of Damanjodi, Orissa. These residents were previously taking their waste to central bins, where it was only sporadically picked up, resulting in waste left strewn about in wide swathes around the bins. A staff of 26 waste collectors started with us on September 1st to clean up Damanjodi, and reprocess over 70% of the waste into valuable by-products. These waste collectors all come from ‘scheduled tribes’, or minority tribes that are systematically placed at economic and social disadvantage as a largely rural minority group.

This is also the first project within which we are employing the new and improved handcart designed by MIT engineer Adam Talsma. You can see more about his research and cart design here. The design addresses three critical failures of existing carts: cost, durability, and ease of use. Previously available cart designs cost over $200, were prone to frequent break-downs due to design flaws, and difficulties in loading and unloading often caused back and shoulder problems for the staff. The new wastecart can now be locally manufactured for less than $100, is durable enough to carry double the weight of waste and a lifetime of at least five years.

Your generous donations have made it possible to fully equip our 26 waste collectors with uniforms, protective gear, and these brand spanking new wastecarts. Besides feeling and looking smart, the waste collectors now carry themselves with greater pride and find the carts lend dignity to their oft-disdained profession.

As our friends, we value your thoughts and like to hear from you! You can always send us an email, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook. Thank you for your ongoing support in transforming the emerging waste sector!

With warm regards from New Delhi,

Tiffany and the Waste Ventures team

Jun 28, 2012

June 2012 Update from Waste Ventures

Compost unit, Indore
Compost unit, Indore

Dear All,

Greetings from New Delhi, where the weather report is ‘blowing dust’ and 111 degrees Fahrenheit. The fact that the Thar desert is encroaching on us from the east serves as a daily reminder of what climate change is slowly doing to many areas bordering deserts around the world.

We are continuing to combat this warming by taking the waste inside cities to create compost, an all-natural soil conditioner. This soil conditioner is needed particularly urgently in central India, where farmland has been leeched of nutrients from decades of exclusive use of chemical fertilizer. Most recently, we’ve been working with our partners, Indian Grameen Services in the city of Indore, to improve compost quality and accelerate the production cycle from over 90 days to just 40 days. This accelerated production more than doubles our compost capacity, and is done using all natural processes of optimizing aeration and moisture levels. We are also expanding into another few housing associations, which will increase the amount of organic waste supply. What’s very encouraging is that we have not yet been able to meet the demand for compost around Indore.

This has been some exciting progress, as we work to improve incomes of the waste pickers that collect and transport the organic waste to the composting centers. Further, in the three months that follow, we aim to catalyze a completely new integrated solid waste management service in a nearby town. This town’s existing waste management system consists of households throwing waste into the street, where it is sporadically swept up and dumped in the nearest lake on the outskirts of town. The environmental impacts of this practice have been serious, and we are all-hands-on-deck to launch our model there by September.

Thank you for your continued support! As a reminder, you don’t have to wait three months to hear updates from us – feel free to send us an email anytime, and also follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

Warm regards to you all,

Tiffany and the Waste Ventures team


***Extra Special Thank You***

For all who helped us out on the SlideRocket competition in March – you rock! Thanks to you, we were selected for first place, a prize of $10,000 and a generous match for an additional $10,000 by an anonymous donor. We are privileged to have you as friends. Please give yourself a hug because we can't.

Jun 5, 2012

Update on waste picker slum rebuilding project

Thank you all for your support to the rebuilding of the waste picker slum in Ghazipur.

This will be a short update to the outcome of the project. We were in total able to raise enough money to help around 20 families rebuild their homes and get the necessary items to restart their lives. The organization we worked with further managed to raise additional funding for the project. Still, the need was great and the funding was spread thin on the ground.

The waste pickers have got roof over their heads for the spring and the summer which we have now, but they are of course continuing to be in a very precarious position. Waste Ventures is working across India with various projects to try and create a permanent change. 

We hope we can soon get some pictures of the rebuilt slum, and while it doesn't look like much, a tarp home is a whole lot better than being exposed to 45 degrees in summer, torrential rains during monsoon or temperatures almost down to freezing during winter.

Thank you again for your help!