You may think that segregating your waste may be a hassle, but Waste Ventures India has been helping change that notion, one dustbin at a time. Founded in 2012 with a pilot project in Delhi, the organisation moved to Visakhapatnam, working with municipal projects across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, before setting shop in the city. Run by former corporate employees, the idea for the venture came about when co-founder and Managing Director Rob Whiting was looking to move to the sustainable industry. “We looked at the market in India, what you typically have today are largely big contractors. The entire system is set up so that dumping waste is incentivised. We saw this was a big need and decided we wanted to focus there,” says Rob, who used to work along with Director Roshan Miranda, before the latter joined him.
The company helps large corporate and housing communities — around 17,000 households so far — get rid of their recyclable waste by collecting it and selling it to scrap collectors.
The group are now targeting individual households, something the GHMC has tried by getting citizens to recycle and segregate their waste, but to no great effect. Roshan explains that a serious ruling is required to get people to change their ways: “In cities like Bengaluru and Pune, there’s a regulation that mandates people who produce more than 10 kg of waste every day, or have more than 10 houses in a small complex. They have to segregate and manage their own waste. Such a mandate does not exist in Hyderabad.”
Alongside Associate Director Mathangi Swaminathan, the trio say that leaving the comfort of a corporate job was a no brainer, as helping the society and environment are rewarding enough. As Roshan puts it, “I felt I had done enough for the corporate world, and through Waste Ventures had environmental and social impact. That was the most appealing thing to me.”