With the last sip of that refreshing drink savored, what is often forgotten is the PET bottle or the Tetra Pak that deserves to be disposed correctly. Delhi-based start-up We-Convert has stepped in to ensure just that. It is looking to make recycling fun by rewarding users who dispose their aluminum, plastic and PET scrap at their newly invented E-collector machines.
With an initial investment of Rs.400,000, We-Convert co-founders Pranav Manocha and Ashutosh Srivastava started operations in February 2016, by setting up their E-collector machines across prime locations in Delhi. Their E-collectors collect and segregate waste systematically and also reward users for disposing their waste. The cost of the machine ranges from Rs.280,000 to Rs.500,000 depending on its features and can accommodate a maximum of 2,000 PET bottles and 3,000 plastic cans. “Our aim was to bring technology into the waste management sector and make recycling fun,” says co-founder Manocha.
How does it work? Users can drop in their plastic, aluminum, PET or glass scrap by simply following the instructions on the machine. The machine then detects the waste and segregates it automatically inside its in-built containers within 10 seconds. The user is then sent a unique 5-digit code with the reward redemption link that operates on a credit-based system, on their mobile phone. Every dispose gets you 10 credits each. We-Convert, additionally has tied up with Favcy that has more than 70 brands on board including McDonalds, KFC, Amazon and Flipkart. “Disposing 7-8 bottles will thus give you around 70-80 credits, enough to buy you a margarita pizza. This is how users are rewarded to use the E-collector more often,” says co-founder Srivastava.
We-Convert sees a average footfall of 400 people per machine and has generated around 750 kg of scrap. The company then sells the accumulated scrap to local recycling vendors in Delhi at a price of Rs.90 per kg for aluminum waste and Rs.40 per kg for PET bottles. We-Convert has sold the first 430 kg of waste and generated Rs.13,000 in revenue so far.
We-Convert has also tied up with the government under the Swachh Bharat campaign. The start-up plans to take its operations to major cities in India by the end of this year. “We are planning to tie up with malls, government agencies and also place the machines at IPL matches in stadiums,” adds Manocha.