With a population of more than 1.3 Bn, India currently stands on a pile of $8.3 Bn (INR 56,000 Crore) worth unused goods as per a recent OLX study. And this does not include recyclable waste such as newspapers, plastic, obsolete mobile phones, etc. All of this together result in a considerable amount of recyclable and reusable waste which is collected and disposed off in a highly unorganised manner.
Interestingly, despite the hype created around people selling on online platforms, at the foundation of this industry, still rests the much unorganised class of ragpickers, kabadiwalas, and garbage collectors. Jaarvis Accelerator-backed ExtraCarbon, is trying to organise this space by bringing the consumers and waste pickers on a single platform.
Gurgaon-based ExtraCarbon was launched in year 2013 by Gaurav Joshi and Anant Avinash. The inspiration came from the UK’s resource management practices through waste management. They are currently working with a team of 28 people.
The founders call the garbage and waste pickers as Green Super Heroes team and are trying to solve three basic problems with them. “Despite a massive population, the recycling industries in India have to import more than 50% of recyclable waste. ExtraCarbon, from the ecosystem point of view, is solving the problems of collection, optimisation and scalability,” said Gaurav.
ExtraCarbon optimised their Green Super Heroes team by providing more deals and greater sale value with them. Domestic waste collection was an issue as majority of raddiwallas/kabadiwalas don’t have enough money to buy everything.
As their business was majorly dependent on cash to solve the scalability issue, they introduced reward points called Jhoomley. The users can opt for payment in cash or points. These points can be further used to top-up their mobile phones or DTH, pay electricity bills, buy products and groceries, or get Paytm credits. “Where for waste pickers, it reduced the burden to carry large amounts of cash (often borrowed from loan lenders), for users, it generated more alternatives to utilise the perks from selling their waste materials,” added Gaurav.