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Waste to Energy and Waste Management in India

Growing economy, soaring urban population, rising living standards and increasing consumption
levels – is what trending in the emerging economies across the globe. With India flourishing on the
same grounds, an increase in the purchasing power parity has led to more affordability,
accessibility to resource use and a rapid surge in the waste volumes as well. Like many developing
countries, India too is struggling with the straining waste management systems adversely impacting
the ecological health. Having said that, these increasing waste volumes in the country are
formulating a new business segment for the value chain players – making solid waste management
all together a different industry practice. The total waste generation in India presently hovers
around 60-65 MTs per annum, of which only 20 percent is actually treated. Municipal solid waste
(MSW) holds a significant chunk, 75 percent of the total waste generated in the country. However,
due to lack of efficient waste management systems in majority of the municipalities, significant
volume of MSW produced in Indian cities remains un treated. It is pertinent to note that in India
only 22-28 percent of the collected MSW is processed and treated, which is quite low if seen, but
indicates huge opportunity pie for the private folks on the other side. Given the current
urbanization growth levels in India, more population pressures on urban agglomerations is
anticipated in coming years and so in the municipal waste generation volumes. However, the
statistics are little shady but it seems that either the municipalities are hollow budgeted or are
actually spending not beyond 30-40 percent of their budget on solid waste management. Hence,
bringing in the deep pocketed fellows can be default solution to it. This can definitely, bring ease
onto the financial burdens of the respective municipalities and will inject much-needed expertise
into local waste-management systems along with triggering competition as well.

Considering the current urban trends, it is not at all surprising to mention that the MSW quantum
in India can see an increase of double the existing volumes by ten years down the line. Infact, it is
projected to hover around 80 MTs by 2030, offering a business case of approximately USD 20
Billion. To unlock the flow of income streams from the waste streams in India enincon consulting llp
attempts to examine the upcoming business opportunities into the Indian solid waste management
market by the medium of its report “ Waste to Energy and Waste Management Market in India
2018 ”. The report deeply examines the underlying opportunites, associated economies of scale,
market trends , challenges and future outlook of waste to energy and waste management industry
in India. Additionally, the said dossier also covers in depth analysis on evaluating the cumulative
waste to energy potential of India and state wise indexation of the potential . Some of the key
coverage elements of the report are stated as - Examining economics & markets for waste to
energy – current trend and outlook, assessing viability and risks associating waste to energy project
development, analyzing the opportunity mix for players viz-a-viz municipal solid waste
management , by e-waste management, bio-medical waste management, plastic waste
management in India and into recycling till 2025. Additionally, the report also finely covers the
opportunity sizing till 2025 in managing the industrial waste.
Trash to cash: Norway leads the way in turning waste into energy

The Eurotrash business may sound like an unpromising enterprise, but it's one that
is increasingly profitable. The UK paid to send 45,000 tonnes of household waste
from Bristol and Leeds to Norway between October 2012 and April this year.
"Waste has become a commodity," says Pål Spillum, head of waste recovery at the
Climate and Pollution Agency in Norway. "There is a big European market for this,
so much so that the Norwegians are accepting rubbish from other countries to feed
the incinerator."

Sweden runs out of garbage, forced to import from neighbors

Sweden, birthplace of the Smörgåsbord and the world’s preferred solar-powered

purveyor of flat-pack home furnishings, is in a bit of a pickle: the squeaky clean
Scandinavian nation of more than 9.8 million has run out of garbage. The landfills
have been tapped dry; the rubbish reserves depleted. And although this may seem
like a positive — even enviable — predicament for a country to be facing, Sweden
has been forced to import trash from neighboring countries.
Sweden imports waste from European neighbours to fuel waste-to-energy

When it comes to recycling, Sweden is incredibly successful. Just four percent of

household waste in Sweden goes into landfills. The rest winds up either recycled or
used as fuel in waste-to-energy power plants.

Burning the garbage in the incinerators generates 20 percent of Sweden’s district

heating, a system of distributing heat by pumping heated water into pipes through
residential and commercial buildings. It also provides electricity for a quarter of a
million homes.
Making the best out of waste: These 8 startups are helping Indian cities manage

Waste management may be a huge problem in urban India, but these eight startups
are tapping the large opportunity it holds and bettering our life.

Urban households in India generate over 6 crore tonnes of garbage every year, of
which a whopping 85 percent is recyclable. Unfortunately, most of this waste ends
up in landfills, polluting the soil, air and water.

India is also one of the world’s largest producers of e-waste, discarding roughly
18.5 lakh tonnes of hazardous waste every year. When mixed with domestic waste,
most of the electronic waste ends up in landfills or incinerators, releasing cancer-
causing carcinogens and other toxins into the environment.

While waste management is a huge problem, it is also a large opportunity in India.

According to a report published by market research company NOVONOUS, India’s
waste management market will be worth US$ 13.62 billion by 2025. With the
Swachh Bharat Mission aiming at more public-private partnerships with startups
and NGOs working in the field, the domestic industry is estimated to grow at a rapid

We list down eight startups working towards the goal of a landfill-free future. Firm
believers in reduce, reuse and recycle, these startups are helping citizens and
organisations from different Indian cities manage their waste.

Saahas Zero Waste

Started as an NGO in 2001, Saahas has over the past decade evolved into a for-
profit business under the brand name of Saahas Zero Waste. The Bengaluru-based
startup, backed by Indian Angel Networks and Upaya Social Ventures, today caters
to clients from Bengaluru and Chennai. The social enterprise has diverted over
15,000 tonnes of waste from reaching landfills, and currently prevents 25 tonnes of
waste from reaching dump yards on a daily basis.
Hasiru Dala

Bengaluru-based Hasiru Dala caters to over 25,000 households in the city and
manages more than 700 tonnes of waste every month. The non-profit provides
waste management solutions to apartments, corporate offices and at events, and
also helps design, set up and maintain urban gardens.

Namo E-waste

Started by Akshay Jain, a 28-year-old entrepreneur from Delhi, Namo E-

waste processes up to 20 tonnes of e-waste daily. With collection centers across 12
states and union territories across the country, the startup is building strategic
partnerships with leading electronic companies, addressing the pressing need for
collection of e-waste.
GEM Enviro Management

Incorporated in 2013, Delhi-based GEM Enviro Management collects polyethylene

terephthalate (PET) waste from factories, offices, hotels, and institutes, and
recycles them into products such as T-shirts, caps, and bags. The products are sold
under its brand, Being Responsible. With a clientele that includes Bisleri, Pepsi,
Cipla, IDFC Bank, Sun Pharma and Google, the startup has processed nearly
5,000 tonnes of waste till now.


The Bengaluru-based waste-to-resource technology startup has built an end-to-end

waste management system that helps communities and businesses manage their
waste at source. Started in 2015, this Tech30 startup has recycled nearly 4,000
tonnes of waste. It has helped convert over 5,600 tonnes of waste into biogas and
compost, and also diverted waste to piggeries.


Started in 2010, Paperman is a Chennai-based organisation that runs over 250

waste paper marts across the city to help citizens clear trash at their doorstep.
Citizens also have the option to use the value generated from the trash to support
one of the 12 NGOs the organisation has partnered with. The organisation has, till
date, recycled over 190 tonnes of trash.

Vital Waste

The Kolkata-based startup provides recycling solutions to residential communities,

schools and corporate offices in the city. Having recycled over 50 tonnes of waste,
the social enterprise currently provides recycling and waste reduction solutions to
10 schools, 20,000 societies, and many corporate giants in the city.

The social enterprise started operations in 2013, and currently caters to 1.25 lakh
people across 8 cities, including Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Greater Noida,
Ghaziabad, Manesar, Lucknow and Ludhiana. ExtraCarbon provides on-
demand kabadiwala service to collect recyclable waste from homes and
commercial areas.

This list is by no means exhaustive. These startups, alongside many more small
and big organisations, are helping urban India battle the complex problem of waste
management. The scale of the problem is massive. However, the stories of these
organisations successfully converting the problem of waste into a billion-dollar
opportunity raise hope. With more innovative solutions and growing awareness
among citizens, we hope to see lesser garbage go to waste in times to come.
12 Notable Waste Management Startups In India

Waste management is the generation, prevention, characterization, monitoring,

treatment, handling, reuse and residual disposition of solid wastes. There are various
types of solid waste including, municipal, agricultural, and special like hazardous and
household etc.
The term usually relates to materials produced by human activity, and the process is
generally undertaken to reduce their effect on health, the environment, or aesthetics.
The initiative was first done by Waste Management Inc. in 1971. It is mainly based in
North America. The major services include the Waste, recyclables, yard debris, and
hazardous materials collection, hauling, treatment and disposal, Dumpster rental,
Portable toilet rental, and security services. The company is headquartered in the
First City Tower in Houston, Texas. The company includes 367 collection operations,
355 transfer stations, 273 active landfill disposal sites, 16 waste-to-energy plants,
134 recycling plants, 111 beneficial use landfill gas projects, and six independent
power production plants. Today, not only abroad, but, even India has several start-
ups for waste management. Here, presenting some of them:

Headquartered at Noida, India. Ecowise waste management provides

comprehensive waste management services to a variety of establishments including
residential, commercial and industrial entities. They ensure that, the waste collected
by them are treated and disposed in accordance with MSW Rules 2000. Ecowise is
an ISO 9001, 14001 and 18001 Certifications. It is currently collecting waste from
Center Stage Mall,Noida, Haldiram, ATS.,etc.
Vermigold is an on-site organic waste recycling Systems Company which combines
advanced vermiculture biotechnology with cutting edge engineering to enable end
users to Recycle organic waste in a trouble free and eco friendly manner. Vermigold
ecotech has won the 2013 Energy Globe award from India. It is India’s first and only
Internationally certified waste management system that certifies their system as best
in class and kindest to the environment.

Synergy Waste Management (P) Ltd

It is one of the leading service providers for Bio-Medical waste management in India.
Promoters are the Rawalwasia Group. They are generally operators of Common Bio-
medical waste treatment facilities, part of urban infrastructure in India. Areas of
operations are New Delhi, Meerut, Lucknow, Hisar, Bhagalpur and Gaya. It is ISO
9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004 certifications. Also, it is the largest Indian home
grown operator of CBWTFs.

Timarpur-Okhla Waste Management Pvt Ltd.

Timarpur-Okhla Municipal Solid waste management project is the first commercial
waste-to-energy facility in India that aims to convert one-third of the Delhi garbage
into the much needed electricity, enough to serving 6 lakh homes. The project is CDM
is registered with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change for
earning Carbon Credits.
Attero, Electronics Asset Management Company
Attero is India’s largest integrated end-to-end electronics asset management
company. Attero aims to increase value for all electronic inventories, right from end
of life electronics to surplus and seconds electronics, while ensuring a safer and more
secure future for the planet. It is mainly concerned with E-waste mining. Acc to U.C.
Dubey, IFFCO Tokio, Attero recycling has proved that there is never a shortage of
people who are…
A2Z Group
A2Z Group is a versatile business group with 30000 employees that contribute to its
Pan India Geographic presence. Incepted in 2002, the turnover for the Financial year
2013 is ? 934.3 Crores. The group had a CAGR of 100.69% over the past 10 years
from FY04-FY13.
Antony Waste Handling Cell Pvt. Ltd.
Antony waste handling cell, an offshoot of Antony group of companies, Mumbai is
one of the leading players in the field of Solid waste management services in the
country, since the past 8 years. It has features as Engineered Sanitary land filling.,
Refuse Transfer stations, etc.

UPL Environmental Engineers Ltd.

UPL has always made conscious efforts in maintaining and improving standards of
environmental care. This group roofed the experts in environmental care. The name
includes, Bharuch Enviro Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd., Enviro Technology Ltd., Gharpure
Engineering and Construction Pvt. Ltd.

Shivalik Solid Waste Management Ltd.

Shivalik Solid waste management Limited as offshoot of UPL group of companies,
Mumbai. Areas under which Shivalik Solid waste management Ltd. Is providing
services are Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facilities, Multiple effect evaporator,
Empty used drums, Environmental monitoring and laboratory analytical services,
Waste oil/used oil, Paint Sludge, e-waste and CFL, Used lead acid batteries,
Environment Impact Assessment(EIA), Environmental consultancy, Environment
statement, Energy audit, Waste water management consultancy.

It is a Gurgaon based startup that is focussed on collecting paper waste and market
the same to paper recycling plants for further use. Its services include, Office
Recycling, Security Shredding, Recycling bins. The start initially focuses on
Corporate offices, followed by school/colleges and households as primary customers.
Greenobin offers free service as well as Premium services. (which includes, training,
customized bins, etc.)
Green Power Systems
Green Power Systems (GPS Renewables Pvt. Ltd.) is a waste management
technology firm. GPS custom builds units for an unsegregated waste ecosystem. The
inaugural products, BioOrja and Biowaste Shredder, are arguably the first waste-to-
energy solution for urban India. GPS intends to enable any urban establishment to
have an economically viable waste-to-energy solutions.

Let’s Recycle
It is an initiative of NEPRA Resource management Pvt. Ltd., a social enterprise that
operates in segment of Dry Waste Management and Recycling, where it collects Dry
Waste from Waste generators and segregates the recyclables and sends to
authorized recyclers. It currently provides employment to 302 employees, comprising
of 76 women. It has ragpickers of 1076. It provides environmental benefit- diverted
over 3000+ MT towards recycling.
A Useless Device For Someone Can Turn Into A Useful Device For Another, Namo
E-waste Mantra
According to the United Nations report – the world generated 44.7 million tonnes of
electronic waste in 2016 — equivalent to the weight of some 4,500 Eiffel Towers.
And, our country’s contribution to it was 2 million tonnes making India the fifth most
e-waste producing country, after US, China, Japan and Germany. The problem is
that e-waste recycling mechanism in India is next to nil, and NAMO E-waste
Company hopes to change that.

Started back in 2014 by Akshay Jain, a 28-year-old from New Delhi specialising in
the waste management, today NAMO E-waste Company is helping ineffective e-
waste management of 70 per cent of the total e-waste generated in the country and
is helping reduce the e-waste load. The company collects e-waste from 12 states
and union territories – Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh,
Karnataka, Mumbai, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, then
segregates the collected waste and provides comprehensive and complete
recycling services to get rid of electronic wastes. The company also segregates the
waste and usable devices are refurbished, which are then sold through online
marketplaces and a dealers’ network.

Moreover, the waste that is of no use is broken to extract commodities like copper,
aluminium, iron, etc. are then sold to foundries, factories that produce metal

GEM Enviro Management Recycling Waste Into T-shirts, Caps, Bags And More
India generates over 62 million tonnes of garbage in a year, out of which a
whopping 85 per cent is recyclable. But the problem is that we just recycle 22-28%
per cent of the waste. Whiffing a business opportunity, the friends – Dinesh Parikh,
Sachin Sharma, and Aditya Parikh started GEM Enviro Management in 2013.

What do they do? The company collects pre- and post-consumer packaging waste
such as plastic bottles, wrappers, plastic packaging from factories, offices, hotels,
motels, and institutes and converts it into products such as T-shirts, caps, bags, soft
toys, apparels and blankets. Today the company has the presence in Delhi NCR,
Mumbai and Bengaluru and has successfully transformed 6,056 tonnes of waste in
the last five years. Company’s client base includes biggies like Bisleri, Pepsi, Cipla,
IDFC Bank, Sun Pharma, and Google.

ExtraCarbon Providing On-demand Kabadiwala Service To Collect Recyclable

ExtraCarbon is a waste management company, which kick-started its operations
back in 2013 from Gurugram. The company provides on-demand kabadiwala (scrap
dealer) services to the individuals and in the commercial areas and allow them to
recycle waste, sell second- hand items, and lead an eco-friendly lifestyle.

What makes ExtraCarbon different is their working model – the users who opt for
their services can either opt for payment in cash or points in return of the scarp they
will be selling to the company. The points earned can be further used to top-up their
mobile phone or DTH services, pay electricity bills, buy products and groceries, or
Paytm credits.

Today the company is helping more than 41,000 users to go green in eight cities of
India including Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad, Manesar,
Lucknow and Ludhiana.

Scarpshala Helping India Learn The Art Of Upcycling

With an aim to teach people the art of recycling in a creative way, Shikha Shah
started Scarpshala in Varanasi. Her startup helps in recycling trash or scrap by
transforming it into useful home utility products for others. Started in 2016,
Scrapshala today is selling products online on more than 15 portals and is involved
with more than 1000 people offline.

The company is dealing in two types of segments – Product based (using trash and
converting it into useful decorative pieces) and service-based (fixing non-working
items) for people. Their presence is both online and offline and they deal with
goodies made out of trash.

As of date, Scarpshala has successfully recycled more than 20,000 plastic bottles
and around 10,000 kilograms of waste.

Paperman, Envisioning A World With No Landfills

Paperman, a Chennai based organisation that was started in 2010 by Mathew Jose
with an objective to promote recycling in the country. What the company does is
simple – they take paper, plastic and metal waste from individuals and help in
effective recycling. Not just that, Paperman also educates school students through
their School Recycling Programmes.

Till date, the company has reached to more than 7 lakh people and has recycled 1
lakh kilograms of waste and is currently present in Chennai, Trivandrum and

If we don’t take waste management seriously now then by 2030 India will need a
landfill as big as Bengaluru to dump all our waste. So, the next time you decide to
pop the waste in the bin without thinking, stop and think of what you can do to
reduce the waste burden of the planet.