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3 Waste Management Businesses That Are Changing the World


For most, waste disposal is this: sort trash into recyclables, wet waste, and dry waste, throw each in their respective bins, have garbage trucks collect them and then forget about it.

But for many ambitious entrepreneurs around the world, it presents an opportunity to not only make some money but also to make the world a better place. World cities generate more than 1.3 billion tonnes of waste every year, and innovation goes a long way in making waste management at such a high scale effective, efficient and helpful to people and the environment.

That’s what these 3 businesses in different parts of the world are trying to accomplish. Let’s take a look at their efforts to revolutionize the waste management industry:

  • ecoATM

Would you like to get paid for old devices you just want to throw away, while simultaneously making the world a better place?

EcoATM is a company that has over 2,800 kiosks across the United States dedicated to doing one job: taking your used devices and paying you cash instantly.

All you have to do is walk over to the nearest ecoATM kiosk with your device. They evaluate your device’s make, model and condition to determine a fair price. You’re paid in cash, instantly.

They claim that “no phone or tablet is too old or broken” and that they “recycle any type of device.” They also refurbish certain phones to be sold online, and they accept devices from all major brands, keeping around 14 million phones and tablets away from landfills, further revolutionizing the e-waste management industry.

  • Wecyclers

Nigeria’s most populous city Lagos with its 10,000 metric tonnes of waste per day has given rise to an amazing venture: Wecyclers.

Proper waste collection and management is almost non-existent in Lagos – no used garbage trucks and collection agencies, leading to streets strewn with trash, clogged gutters, and the resulting unhealthy living conditions.

Because of inadequate waste collections, recycling firms in Lagos face a lack of adequate supply of quality materials. Wecyclers is a for-profit organization that uses ‘wecycles’ – locally assembled, low-cost cargo bicycles that pick up recyclable waste from households and deliver them to sorting and packaging stations around the city.

Households can subscribe to their service, and Wecyclers rewards subscribers by giving them points per kilogram of recyclable waste, which can be used to purchase necessities like food and household supplies.

Wecyclers not only helps keep trash off the streets and waterways but also helps people learn about waste management while earning incentives for their awareness.

  • GEM Enviro Management

Indian cities generate more than 65 million tonnes of garbage annually, out of which more than 80% is recyclable. GEM Enviro Management capitalized on these numbers to devise a way of recycling plastic waste that is innovative and unique.

It collects PET waste from factories, offices, and hotels and turns it into apparel which is sold back to corporates under the brand name ‘Being Responsible.’

GEM has partnered with Ganesh Ecosphere, a company that takes their PET waste and turns it into fiber. GEM uses this fiber to manufacture t-shirts, sportswear, and accessories.

And their business is booming, considering they can count huge brands like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Google among their clients.

These are just 3 of hundreds of startups all around the world working to revolutionize the waste management industry. Join in their efforts and do your part to make the world a better place to live.

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