Hyderabad’s Recykal: A digital marketplace for buying and selling trash

The platform uses an app to connect bulk waste generators with waste collectors and recyclers. Users can view market rates, conduct transactions and reach out to each other digitally through the app.
A local waste segregation unit enabled by Recykal. (Photo courtesy Recykal) PREMIUM
A local waste segregation unit enabled by Recykal. (Photo courtesy Recykal)
Updated on Dec 31, 2021 05:15 PM IST
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Abhay Deshpande likes to joke that he has an MBA in waste management. He’s referring to the two years he spent with recyclers, learning the business, before he co-founded Recykal in 2019, with Abhishek Deshpande, Anirudha Jalan, Vikram Prabhakar and Ekta Narain.

Their Android app for waste, Recykal Marketplace, connects waste generators with waste collectors who in turn can connect, via the app, with processors and recyclers.

Bulk waste generators include manufacturers of glue and pharmaceuticals, consumer products and electronics. They use the app to list the amount and type of trash they want to dispose of. Local processors then commit to collecting, sorting and selling the waste to recyclers, who also join the cycle via the app.

“It’s a facilitator, like Uber, but for waste,” says Deshpande, 50. The app is operational across 28 states and five union territories, with over 210 brands, 325 recyclers and 1,050 aggregators currently registered.

Local processors commit to collecting and sorting waste. They can then sell it to recyclers via the app too. (Photo courtesy Recykal)
Local processors commit to collecting and sorting waste. They can then sell it to recyclers via the app too. (Photo courtesy Recykal)

Being a commercial enterprise has helped Recykal have a larger impact, Deshpande says. “If you think about it, there is no such thing as waste in India. Everything has a value, be it paper, plastic or e-waste. It can always be a resource for somebody. We just needed to help connect the dots better.”

The next step for Recykal is to scale up further, from a stated 2.5 lakh metric tonnes of waste recycled via the app in 2021 to 5 lakh metric tonnes in 2022. “Our long-term goal is 2 million metric tonnes,” Deshpande says, “about 10% of the recyclable waste that ends up in landfills in India every year.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Anesha is a features writer, sometimes a reader, who loves to eat and plan fitness goals she can never keep. She writes on food, culture and youth trends.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022