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Digital disruption in waste management and recycling

A largely informal sector, waste management is a US$ 14 billion industry in India. Tech startup Recykal provides a digital technology platform that connects waste generators with waste aggregators / recyclers, and also works with Smart Cities and municipal corporations to improve their waste management through data analytics

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Headquartered in Hyderabad, Recykal is a tech startup that offers digital waste management, recycling, sustainability solutions to SMBs, corporations, consumer brands, Governments and households. The company is a cloud-based waste management and recycling enabler. “We have a full suite of cloud-based solutions, apps that are tailor made for waste haulers, waste generators, waste aggregators, processors, recyclers. Our goal is to digitally connect these stakeholders, enable transactions between them with transparency, traceability thereby creating sustainable environment and enabling circular economy,” says Abhishek Deshpande, CEO, Recykal, adding that they also work with Smart Cities and Municipal Corporations to improve their solid waste handling, recycling operations and deliver better value through data analytics.

Abhishek Deshpande, CEO, Recykal

Recykal has raised US$ 2 million in June 2019, which will help the company expand its operations across the country. “Till date, we have diverted 26,000+ MT of dry recyclable wastes like paper, plastic, e-waste from landfills to recycling centers saving 29,000 trees, 5.8 crore liter of water, 7K cubic meter landfill space and 48 lakh KWH electricity in the process,” states Deshpande.

The target customer segments are –

  • Bulk waste generators (corporates, hotels, restaurants, schools, malls, retail chains, etc.)
  • Waste aggregators, processors
  • Recyclers, cement factories, waste to energy plants
  • Municipal corporations
  • Households

The client list includes organisations like Walmart, Novartis, Agromech, Tata Motors, Coromandel, Decathlon, Infosys, Novotel, Wipro, Metro Cash & Carry, Honda, Maruti Suzuki, Accor Hotels, Aditya Birla Group, and others.

Following are some of the applications developed by the startup for its various client segments:

UZED by Recykal: Recykal’s consumer recycling and incentivisation platform (UZED) allows consumers to create sustainability impact by responsibly committing to recycle. This platform empowers consumer brands to run digital sustainability awareness drives and incentivise users to recycle more.

Recykal PRISM: A digital waste management, sustainability reporting platform for medium and large enterprises. Helps corporates engage and incentivise their workforce in sustainability initiatives. Companies can track environmental impact created by their organisation, facilities, employees, community reach programs with custom reports and dashboards.

Recykal Platform: Recykal’s cloud-based platform as a service for municipal corporations, large processors, waste management and recycling companies that helps streamline their end to end operations and achieve better value, compliance, transparency, data intelligence capabilities.

Recykal Marketplace: Recykal’s digital marketplace provides a platform for buyers and sellers of recyclables to trade instantly, bridging the currently existing demand-supply gap.

Recykal DigitalPRO: A tech enabled platform that assists electronics brands to fulfill their EPR targets while ensuring traceability at each step. Further, brands can leverage Recykal’s Customer Engagement App to run consumer awareness campaigns, custom takeback programs to accelerate their EPR collections.

Focus on innovation

Pointing out that waste management as an industry is informal and lacks innovation, Deshpande remarks, “What we try to do is to disrupt the industry with innovative technology solutions. We worked closely with different stakeholders – waste generators, waste aggregators, waste processors, recyclers, government bodies for almost three years. In the process we understood their challenges, pain points and create our products accordingly. What we are building is totally new, there is no model that we can replicate or follow. We have to innovate continuously.”

Future plans include building data and analytics capabilities that can help municipal bodies make better decisions in planning and optimising their daily operations. “Soon we are launching a marketplace where buyers, sellers of recyclables can trade, transact online,” says Deshpande, informing that they plan to expand their operations across Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai by the end of 2019, and strengthen the technology team.

“Waste management is a US$ 14 billion industry in India. However it is operated predominantly by informal sector and transactions happening offline. Digital Intervention is needed to create a transparent ecosystem,” states Deshpande, reminding that digital solutions bring in transparency, traceability, and accountability to all the stakeholders in the system. These solutions will help raise awareness, mobilise actions, streamline the operations and also provide valuable insights of waste generation and the effect to which it is managed efficiently, thus bringing in data-centric approach and measurability to the industry.

He believes that private Investments just like any others sector are much required to encourage innovative technology ideas in this space. “Digital disruption in this space has a vast potential to create social, economic, environmental impact at scale,” affirms Deshpande.

The company has won many awards and recognitions like ‘Best Waste Management Digital Technology Provider’ award by ASSOCHAM; selected among Top Five products at the NASSCOM Product Conclave, and more.

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