1. What is your idea about and at what stage is it in?
The idea of Waste Recycle is to collect waste from 8 out of 19 wards of the sub-metropolitan city of Dhangadhi. Our aim is to provide daily waste collection service all around Dhangdhi and its neighboring cities.
We will use two separate vehicles to collect degradable and non-degradable waste, by which we will be able to segregate wastes at the point of collection. After collection, we will make compost manure from biodegradable waste, and we will recycle and reuse non-degradable wastes such as glass and plastic bottles.
Waste Recycle is at its ideation stage and we are still working on its execution
2. How did you come up with the idea?
Initially, we had not thought of working in the waste management sector. However, after analyzing new Government’s policies, evaluating what sectors new policies favored, we wanted to align our goals with sub-metropolitan policies.
At the same time, we identified that there is a trend of an increase in population in and around Dhangadhi, which is creating a problem in waste management for sub-metropolitan. The landfill sites are already full and are running in an unmanaged way which is creating a lot of health and environmental hazards. These circumstances allowed us to develop the idea for Waste Recycle.
3. How many people did you begin with, and how many people are you working with right now?
Initially, we began with five people, but now there are three of us working on the idea: Usmita Acharya, Maya Bhattarai and myself.
4. What is a social problem that you are trying to solve with your idea?
We are trying to solve environmental problems by managing the wastes collected in the sub-metropolitan areas. In Dhangadhi, the waste output is increasing day by day which is stored in landfills, and now the landfill sites do not have the capacity to store additional wastes. So, we are trying to assist the local government in waste management, reduce the environmental hazard, and also create a better, healthy and safe environment for farming by promoting organic fertilizers.
5. How are you thinking to raise funds to execute this idea?
We will firstly begin with our personal investments. However, as the cost of collecting and managing the waste is high, we will not be able to fund the entire business on our own. Once we have established the company and have collected wastes from different areas, we are thinking of collaborating with the government and approaching different private and public companies to invest in this idea.
6. What are the challenges you face and might face in the future?
When we explain our idea and what we plan to do, we face a lot of resistance from the community and people, they are reluctant to provide us with the required land to store the waste, as there are many families residing in the locality we have in mind. So, we are trying to look for the land far from the residential area.
As we are the first movers for such a company in the Far-Western region, we have problems in company registration. Likewise, the materials required for the waste collection, separation and for making compost are expensive.
We also face a lot of backlash and discouragement from people in our community, who doubt our capability because we are “Women Entrepreneurs”; they try to brainwash us into thinking that we cannot implement and execute this idea.
7. How will you solve the problems that you are facing now and might in the future?
When we collect wastes from households, we will speak to them, explain our plans and try to establish mutual trust.
We will also meet the representatives of the sub-metropolitan and explain about the plan we have regarding the management of the waste and how we will collect it.
For the materials, we have spoken to different private companies and they have agreed to help. Similarly, representatives of the agricultural sector and nurseries have a positive response to collaborate with us.
8. Who are your target customers?
Our target customers are people from agriculture sector, nursery, and sub-metropolitan. We offer two different types of major products and services, targeting different customers, as there are customers at both ends of our supply chain who benefit from our services and products.
Municipalities benefit from our service by having an alternative means of waste disposal. Other potential customers benefit from our compost product which will include fertilizer for manufacturers, nurseries, farmers, landscapers, homeowners and even the government. We will also have biogas in our product line which will act as an alternative to LPG Gas that will benefit homeowners, restaurants, hotels, and school canteens.
9. Is your business working on a self-sufficiency or profit-making model?
We will collect degradable and non-degradable waste from households, and treat them differently.
We will make compost manure from the degradable waste and sell it to producers in the agricultural industry established in the sub-metropolitan area itself such as the farmable lands, nurseries, farmers, and Upabhokta Ban Samiti that is involved in the protection of the forest and the trees.
For the non-biodegradable, we will recycle bottles, plastics and sell them to the concerned industry and the concerned person.
10. What is the future plan for your company?
With help from the municipality, we will register as a private or public company in the long term. We also look forward to seeking advice and network with different people to make our company better.
Furthermore, we will not take any fee during the initial phase as we want to educate people. However, after proper installation collection of enough waste has been done, we will collect Rs.50 from each household. We will also provide employment opportunities in the near future for waste collection and management. Responsibility of one ward will be assigned to one person who can later look after all the processes of the waste collection of the ward independently.
11. Do you consider yourself a social entrepreneur?
Yes! As we have initiated a company with a fairly new concept in this region, and it has substantial environmental impact, we believe we’re social entrepreneurs.