Discard your e-waste

September 30, 2015 11:41 am | Updated March 28, 2016 08:07 pm IST - BENGALURU:

From October 2, four Namma Metro stations will be part of a mission to ensure toxic e-waste reaches the right destination.

Volunteers from Binbag – a startup being incubated at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore’s N.S. Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning – who specialise in collection and responsible disposal of e-waste, will ensure that the waste you get will reach a State-authorised recycler.

The logic behind an e-waste collection drive at metro stations is that those who use the metro bring waste that needs to be disposed off. These can be dropped in bags held by volunteers, explained Achitra Borgohain, founder of Binbag.

The volunteers will be present during the morning peak hours at the stations on Reach-1.

Binbag has already been offering doorstep pick-up services in the city. “In a year, we have collected nearly five tonnes of e-waste. The most discarded items are home appliances, bought three or four years ago and have turned obsolete,” Mr. Borgohain explained.

What was pleasantly surprising though was that those who used Binbag’s services did not expect anything in return. “99 per cent of my customers are happy about the doorstep pickup and the fact that the waste will reach a responsible recycler. Our gift vouchers (given away as incentives) are more of a thank you gesture than a selling point,” he added.

Binbag now has nearly 2,000 customers, mainly individuals. “Over a period of time, we have also served communities, such as apartments. We do not focus on B2B, as they have other options,” he said.

Trash for health

Who says slums are spared e-waste troubles? Dispelling this notion, Binbag is organising a unique ‘Trash for health’ campaign on October 4 for residents of Bismillah Nagar in south Bengaluru. To incentivise people into handing over waste such as batteries, music players and radio sets, children and their mothers will be provided a free dental check-up, Binbag representatives said.

Connect with scrap dealers

No one is ‘trashing’ the app-way, not even trash. Binbag is piloting an ambitious app in south Bengaluru that connects scrap dealers with potential customers. “We are creating a network of last-mile collection agents where the nearest dealer will get notified based on customer location,” Mr. Borgohain said.

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