13851968 - different computer parts and phone in trash can

The amount of waste that we generate has tripled since 1960, and it is expected to grow at a much faster pace in the current century. According to a report by OECD, as much as 50 tonnes of household waste is thrown out every single second.

What’s even more alarming is that this number will double by 2030 if we keep doing what we are doing.

Dealing smartly and effectively with the garbage and waste is one of the basic needs of the current era. Only ten percent of the solid garbage is recycled a year in the US. This is nothing but an alarming situation.

Startups and business enterprises are no stranger to the need to dispose of rubbish or other items. For example, while you can easily sell your old laptops, tablets and smartphones in the secondary market, what happens when you have a broken device that’s more expensive to repair than replace?

Given that devices usually have an approximately two-year lifespan, e-waste is going to be a big problem. In fact, experts estimate the e-waste management industry to grow at a CAGR of 22.7 per cent between 2016 to 2021, from US$17 billion to US$58 billion in just five years.

Also Read: What do you do with 4.3 million unsafe smartphones?

What can we do, then?

You have to play your role by keeping the world clean. If you think this is hard, and creating a business related to garbage and garbage cleaning is a bad idea — rethink.

Consider these three waste removal and garbage cleaning businesses that do not just make money but they are doing something that adds real value.

1. Clearabee

Clearabee is a UK-based rubbish removal business that operates in London, Birmingham, and Manchester. These guys collect the rubbish from your home and office, and dispose of professionally. They recycle garbage ethically. Clearabee is a CHAS and ISO9001 accredited business.

So what’s in it for them?

These guys are not just doing business but they are playing an active role in keeping the environment clean by recycling most of the garbage in their country.

There couldn’t be any better way to return to the society, right?

2. Pom Pom

Pom Pom is an Indian waste buying startup that covers South Delhi. The company will buy anything from their customers ranging from plastic bottles to papers to glass products to metal and more.

They even buy electronic waste, like old computers, tablets, smartphones and other household devices like televisions and refrigerators — the components are then separated and recycled appropriately.

Pom Pom offers an iOS and Android app, wherein users can book pickups — they will pay you for your recyclables right on the spot.

You get paid, they get to sell recycled materials, the Earth is greener — a win win for all, right?

3. Suez Environment

Formerly SITA, Suez Environment is a Hong Kong-based waste collector company that is more of an industrial waste collecting and cleansing company that collects more than 400,000 tonnes of waste every year. It collects, transfers, and treats waste professionally.

SITA also has an automatic waste collection system that is fully automated and has helped the company in collecting tons of garbage. Its parent company also runs sustainable water businesses, among others.

4. ZeroWaste

Another India-based startup that does recycling is ZeroWaste, which e27 featured earlier this year. The company is a reverse e-commerce (re-commerce) platform, which means it asks users to send in information about their old devices, and the platform will give a quote as to how much it will buy the recyclable.

Again, it’s another win-win situation.

Also Read: This Indian startup dreams for a planet with Zero(e)Waste


Short of ideas?

Consider Taiwan, which is considered a world leader in recycling. There are hundreds of inspiring case studies from this small island.

If you have to do a business, choose a business that doesn’t just help you earn money but one that helps everyone in this world, directly and indirectly.

Do something that you can be proud of.


The views expressed here are of the author’s, and e27 may not necessarily subscribe to them. e27invites members from Asia’s tech industry and startup community to share their honest opinions and expert knowledge with our readers. If you are interested in sharing your point of view, submit your post here.

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