Madhur N Rathi, would’ve never thought that one conference on waste management during his MBA days would change his life for the better. Wanting to live a life of sustainability, he roped in three of his friends to make a living by recycling plastic into furniture that can further be recycled years later, in Maharashtra’s Amravati.
“Most of us use products from recycled plastic for an eco-friendly life, but very few know that these same recycled products can be recycled after years. Our brand Econiture’s products are an example of it,” Madhur, CEO of Recycle Bell Private Limited tells The Better India.
Starting from waste
With an initial investment of Rs 5 lakh each in April 2017, Madhur with three of his friends — Roshan Pidiyar, Bhushan Boob and Ashish Modak, established Recycle Bell Private Limited, a waste management company. Besides this, they also took a soft loan of Rs 5 lakh from another friend and a Rs 10 lakh loan from a bank to start the business.
During the initial days, the friends used to collect dry waste from different waste generators, including ragpickers, industries, shops, etc. The waste is then taken to a material recovery facility and segregated into 100 types of recyclable products.
“We sell these recyclable materials to different recyclers, who further recycle them for money. The recyclers use the recycled materials we provide according to their individual needs. Some use it to make toys while others use it for mats, bags and rugs, etc,” says Madhur.
Creating a circle of recycling
Later, in 2018, the four friends decided to make their own product from recycled plastic. After a year-long research, in October 2019, they launched their brand Econiture. The brand sells furniture and home decor, which is completely made from 100% recycled plastic.
Till date, Econiture has converted over 1400 metric tonnes of dry waste towards recycling.
Speaking about his initiative, Madhur says, “When I was pursuing my MBA, I attended a conference regarding waste management. That’s how I became engaged in this field. Wanting to learn more about waste management, I worked at Nepra Resource Management Pvt Ltd in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, as a project coordinator. Three and a half years later, I came back to my hometown due to family reasons. But my love for waste management increased day by day and I asked my friends to help in launching a new venture — Recycle Bell Private Limited.”
Roshan Pidiyar, MD of Recycle Bell Private Limited, shares, “Initially, my family members had a problem when I chose the path of waste management, but now they are happy and supportive. More than business, Recycle Bell Private Limited is something which helps the environment and society, so that is the main reason why I decided to stay with Madhur’s plan,” says
The 33-year-old adds that recycling one set of plastic waste saves carbon emissions equivalent to two trees in one year.
Sales director of the company, Ashish Modak says, “Till date the company sold furniture equivalent to 5000 kg of plastic waste. Our company will be launching a new website, from which customers can come and directly order their products by next year.” He also adds that the furniture can be kept outdoors, all-year-round and in all climatic conditions “without any fear of damage to them”.
Talking about their profit margins, Madhur says, “Econiture is generating a revenue of Rs 1.5- 2 lakh monthly. From selling recyclable plastic, the company’s total revenue is Rs 7-8 lakh per month.”
“Presently our company has 50 employees and 60% of the employees are women. All segregation in the company is done women,” he says and adds, “If the waste generator doesn’t want money for the plastic they give us, we provide Econiture products according to their requirements.”
(Edited by Yoshita Rao)