India has a waste management problem. The country produces an average of 62 million tons of garbage every year and less than 20 percent of this—a mere 12 million tons—is treated properly. The remainder ends up exactly where it’s not supposed to be: in the many fragile ecosystems of India, such as lakes, rivers, and wetlands.
Like most other countries, India’s waste production is expected to increase in the coming years. By the year 2050, India will be producing an estimated 436 million tons of trash every year. The problem is growing.
But with every problem comes the opportunity for a solution. Particularly in the waste management industry, there is money to be made in India. Because this industry hasn’t been formalized in India, there are many entrepreneurial opportunities—and waste management is expected to be valued at $13.62 billion by the year 2025. Here are seven companies that have taken advantage of that open market to provide solutions to India’s waste management problem.
Based in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, Ecowise Waste Management provides collection, recycling, and disposal services for commercial, industrial, and residential waste. The company also purchases scrap from businesses.
Ecowise will handle plastic, paper, cardboard, metal, textile waste, construction debris, and biodegradable waste. The organization is well-versed in document destruction, and delivers their portable shredding machine to a variety of locations.
Vermigold Ecotech, a Mumbai-based business, specializes in on-site waste management. Vermigold sells an organic waste digester that uses earthworms to reduce waste volume by 90 percent. The digester creates Vermicompost that can be used as fertilizer. Vermigold’s digesters are available in different processing capacities ranging from 25 kilograms a day to as much as 3,000 kilograms per day. The company also manufactures an organic waste shredder that can be used to combine kitchen waste, paper, cardboard, and garden clippings into a pulp before the materials enter the digester.
Attero, India’s largest electronic asset management company, is also India’s only e-waste recycler with the technology to extract pure metals from electronics. Their inexpensive and environmentally sound facilities process e-waste and extract rare earth and precious metals. To promote reuse, Attero has created a refurbishing facility in India, developed an e-commerce platform for the sale of surplus and refurbished electronics, and offers country-wide pick-up.
Antony Waste Handling
Antony Waste Handling Cell Private Limited, or AWHCPL, started in 2001, and has since grown to become one of the leading solid waste management services in India. The company works in the collection, transport, and processing of municipal solid waste, as well as road sweeping, the engineering of landfills, and the processing of construction debris, biomedical, and hazardous waste. AWHCPL has two transfer stations: one in Jaipur and one in Delhi. The Delhi station has the capacity to transfer 600 tons of municipal solid waste each day.
Greenobin, a company based in the Gurgaon region, offers a variety of paper recycling services to India, including office recycling, secure shredding, and bulk paper recycling. Their customers include industrial and commercial companies as well as local agencies. In addition to the collection and processing of an office’s paper recyclables like newspaper and vending cups, Greenobin provides waste audits, education, and training for employees. These trainings cover a number of office waste best practices, such as efficient use of photocopiers and printers, ways to reduce packaging, and software that can help reduce paper usage. Currently, Greenobin only provides services in Gurgaon and Noida.
Let’s Recycle is a waste management initiative of Nepra Resource Management. Their approach to waste management is quite unique. They help to regulate waste in India by purchasing it from the country’s waste pickers. By providing these waste pickers with fair and transparent prices, they are helping a marginalized group while improving India’s environmental practices. Let’s Recycle also provides pick up for companies of all sizes. They accept the typical recyclables as well as commercial and industrial waste. They have helped approximately 500 customers since 2012.
UPL Environmental Engineers, Limited
Formerly known as Associated Environmental Engineers Limited, UPL Environmental Engineers provides solid waste management services to clients in a variety of industries, including pharmaceutical and chemical. UPL offers technology to clients in the areas of landfilling, composting, bio-methanisation, and gasification. They have executed their projects all over India, from Mumbai to Rajasthan. The company also provides wastewater management and environmental consultancy.