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This Man Takes Your Dry Waste, Recycles It & Gives You Rewards In Return!

Started by Abhishek Agarwal in Hyderabad Goodeebag is a unique waste management application that collects your waste for free and provides you with redeemable reward points. What happens to the waste? And how can you use those points? Read on to find out.

This Man Takes Your Dry Waste, Recycles It & Gives You Rewards In Return!

Waste Management in India, particularly at the individual household level, has been a longstanding concern. Government estimates from 2021 reveal that the country generates approximately 62 tonnes of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) annually.

Of this total, 80 percent is collected, but only 22-28 percent undergoes recycling. The remaining waste is deposited in landfills, contributing to additional environmental challenges. Reports suggest that the percentage of MSW is anticipated to surge by sevenfold in the next decade, exacerbating the issue further.

These staggering figures underscore the critical problem of waste segregation at the micro level. Records indicate that a mere 30 percent of waste undergoes proper segregation, leading to recyclable materials like plastic being wrongly disposed of in landfills, where they contribute to environmental degradation.

“What I believe is that people need some kind of incentive to do something. So I decided to come up with a concept where people get a reward for segregating their waste,” says Abhishek Agarwal, the founder of Goodeebag.

Goodeebag, a Hyderabad-based waste management company, collects your segregated waste from your doorstep and provides reward points in return. Users can redeem these reward points to purchase groceries from the Goodeebag store.

The icing on the top? All these services are free of cost!

One man’s waste is another’s treasure 

Coming from a typical Marwari family, Abhishek claims that business is in his blood. “My entire family is full of successful businessmen in various fields, so for me, I had always known that entrepreneurship was my future,” he says. 

The company and recycled over 89,164 kg of waste so far.
The company and recycled over 89,164 kg of waste so far. Picture credit: Goodeebag

Before Gooedeebag, Abhishek had started a logistics company. “Although the business was running smoothly, I was looking for something more in my life. I wanted to do something that gives back to nature,” he says. 

“In a span of 13 years, I had expanded the business to many cities and had a fleet of vehicles too. However, I decided to sell the company and find something that aligns with what I wanted to do,” he adds.

When Abhishek was searching for his calling, he realised a persistent problem. “I wanted to do something that helps the environment, and the biggest problem I came across was waste. I narrowed it down to the micro level and found out that most households were either not aware of proper waste segregation or were too busy to do it,” he explains.

To solve the problem of landfills and waste remaining unrecycled, Abhishek opines that there was a need to find the core issue. 

“Once I had recognised the issue, a small idea sprung into my head. I started a WhatsApp group where I invited people to segregate their waste and hand it over to me in exchange for a goody,” he says. 

“And it worked! A lot of people showed so much interest and were willing to do it for a reward. It was a new and interesting concept for them,” he adds. 

This was a sign enough and Abhishek decided to expand on this idea. “A small family of people, everyday 400 to 500 gm of plastic is generated at home. There are no scrap dealers who will take that amount of plastic. I realised that this was a problem with many,” he says. 

To push people to make segregating waste a habit and part of their daily routine, Abhishek decided to give them an incentive. 

“This is how the idea behind Goodeebag came about,” he says. 

Abhishek Agarwal, Founder of Goodeebag.
Abhishek Agarwal, Founder of Goodeebag. Picture credit: Goodeebag

‘Something for Nothing’ 

“It is a passion for me more than anything,” he says, recalling how his friends and family reacted when he decided to start the company. 

“They were not as excited as I was. I had an existing business that was doing well and there was no need to switch. They would think that at the end of the day, it is ‘Kabaad ka business’ (scrap business). It was my passion towards nature conservation that kept me going,” he says. 

Abhishek feels that it is not just the government’s responsibility to manage waste but ours too. “The concept of giving away rewards comes from my basic understanding of human nature. We all love free stuff, don’t we? So the reward system has worked perfectly for us,” he says. 

Talking about how his company works, he says, “It is simple — we have an app which a consumer downloads. They segregate their waste and schedule a visit from the app. Our collection executive comes and picks up their waste. The consumer can go to the application and collect their reward points.” 

The application has a variety of products that consumers can buy. “We usually have household stuff and groceries which the consumers can buy for free. We deliver them to their homes within 72 hours without a delivery charge. So basically, you get something for nothing,” he says. 

There is no limit on the amount of waste you need to be picked up, and the rewards are based on the weight of the waste collected.

Once the waste is collected, Abhishek explains, “It comes to our storage units where it is segregated again. The dry waste collected is segregated into 40 categories including paper, cardboard, textile plastic, wires, metals etc. Most of the waste is plastic waste which goes to a factory where it is converted into tiles. We have collaboration with recyclers where waste goes to and apparel companies that need waste materials,” he says. 

Nothing goes into landfills, he claims. 

So far, the company has collected 17,429 pickups and recycled about 89,164 Kg of waste. “We have 3,500 families in Hyderabad as members who regularly schedule pickups,” he says. 

Sushma from Hyderabad, who has been using Goodeebag for a while, says, “It is very hard to segregate waste on a daily basis and then discard it. But when I found out about Goodeebag, at least the discarding part was sorted. They come and collect our waste and then recycle it. The best part is that they also give us incentive points to buy groceries. The service is very smooth, and initiatives like this help us keep our surroundings clean.”

Currently present in Hyderabad, the company is planning to expand to two more cities in India. 

(Edited by Padmashree Pande)

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