How to get started on community recycling

A gated community on OMR on what went to selecting vendors and the role of children for such events

Updated - May 09, 2022 07:01 pm IST

Published - May 09, 2022 11:50 am IST

In March, when House of Hiranandani Upscale in Egattur organised ‘RRR’ (reduce, reuse and recycle) they identified three vendors to collect the gated community’s eWaste, clothes and shoes.

Rajeswari Harish, a core member of community’s Green Team, says they chose three vendors as they wanted to make sure each of them is adept at handling waste in their particular segment and nothing goes to the landfill.

It must be noted that some recycling companies collect all kinds of waste from residents before sorting and sending it to recyclers focused on a particular item.

“We also wanted the vendor to recycle as locally as possible,” says Rajeswari. From the drive, 380 kg of footwear; 1277 kg of clothes and 560 kg of eWaste were collected by WasteWinn, Recyclemart and Virogreen respectively.

“The clothes vendor had a complete solution regarding what they were going to do with the materials collected. They get good and not-so-good clothes too,” she says. The eWaste player has a unit at Gummidipoondi and the apartment was even planning to take the children on a tour of the factory.

For eWaste, Rajeswari says, it is important that the vendor produces a destruction certificate after completion of the process.

To drive the message home really hard, the Green Team started working a month in advance.

Community drives in the city and FOMRRA were platforms they used to choose vendors.

Children played a role by designing posters and creating videos to drum up support for the event. Some of the residents of the apartment were interviewed to build momentum for the D-Day.

Fun activities, a quiz, a scavenger hunt, all based on waste management, were conducted to make it a memorable celebration.

Some eWaste players give money for the collected materials, an option, Rajeswari says, the community did not take.

Regular drives

“We did not have a huge quantity of eWaste as we had a drive last year, so every two years would be ideal. For clothes and shoes, once a year will do,” she says, adding that seven to 10 days is enough to collect clothes.

Any other learnings from the drive? Having a common area to store all materials would have been good.

They also give a deadline to the vendor to collect the sealed boxes the day after the drive as storage and logistics can become an issue.

The Collection Methodology


Thuli outlets (6380306662); Rajasthan Cosmo Club Foundation run ‘Smile’ stores (044 2821 3149) and Recyclemart (9344529472) are some enterprises working towards preventing clothes from reaching the landfill; the former insists that only gently-used good clothes be given to them so that it can be used by the underprivileged.

The other two groups have a system where they sort clothes that cannot be used by another person to repurpose them into useful products. Recyclemart also does door-to-door pick-up of clothes that are dropped at its two units – Porur and Moolakadai – before they are segregated depending on the wear and tear.


Last month, House of Hiranandani Upscale conducted a drive where old shoes were collected by a waste management company WasteWinn. Most recycling drives do not specify shoes as it needs to be handled separately. Priyadarshini of WasteWinn says the footwear will be sent to a unit in Delhi for recycling. “I need a minimum of 25 tonnes to send them to the factory and we are open to collaborating with communities for such drives,” she says. For details, call 9790804922

Bottles and more

Trashman is a door-to-door online scrap collection service that collects paper, plastic, cardboard and metal. The enterprise predominantly functions in Tambaram, Chromepet, Hastinapuram, Selaiyur, Perungaluthur, Perumbakkam and Sholinganallur. According to its website, cash is given to customers based on the computer generated invoice. The collected items are segregated based on their grade and sent to recycling industries.

To place a request, WhatsApp 9600077930

Tetra Pak

Wasted Solutions collects used beverage cartons, Tetra Pak to be specific, to recycle them into several new functional products.

Find out if the supermarket closest to your area is a drop-off point or one can Dunzo the cartons. A free pick-up is offered for those who have collected more than 50 cartons. The enterprise also works closely with gated communities. The used beverage cartons are sent to Arpanam Trust where women are engaged in cleaning and sorting the cartons to be sent to a recycling plant. Here, paper is separated from the polyethylene and aluminium via the hydra pulping process and then converted into many useful products like benches and desks.

For details, visit


A Google search will show up a list of eWaste vendors in the city but make sure to check if they are certified electronic recyclers who can dispose of all electronic and electrical waste in a manner that will cause minimal harm to air, water and soil. Besides, check if they are recyclers empanelled by the Greater Chennai Corporation.

VIROGREEN India Private Limited (9940831313), World Scrap Recycling Solutions (18004193252) are among a few vendors that communities have engaged with in the past.

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