India generates 200,000 tonnes of waste per day, of which less than five percent gets recycled. Many municipalities refuse to collect unsegregated waste, so residents have no choice but to dump it in the street. If it goes uncollected, it spreads disease or gets burned, polluting the air with toxic fumes and emitting greenhouse gases. When it is collected, it clogs landfill sites, where informal waste pickers work to try and make a living.
Fresh, mixed municipal solid waste contains everything from diapers and cloth to food encased in plastic. TrashCon’s TrashBot helps segregate wet and dry components with more than 90 percent accuracy. The moist matter is composted or used for biogas, whereas non-recyclable plastics like multi-layered plastics are recycled into boards known as WoWBoards, thanks to the exclusive WoWRecycler. TrashCon’s solution is highly efficacious; it guarantees that over 90 percent of the waste is diverted from landfills.
The TRANSFORM project helped TrashCon scale up its waste processing system and establish their main revenue stream - WoW products - which transitioned TrashCon from a donor-supported to a profit-making enterprise.
TRANSFORM is also helping TrashCon build a remote management system and deliver quality monitoring of WoW board machines across the country.
Today, TrashCon has plants in over 20 cities. It operates in six Indian states and plans to be managing a quarter of the country’s waste. TrashCon panels have been taken up by the leading construction companies in India and beyond, and they have a thriving export market to North America.
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