Scrap traditional waste management, says Kabadiwalla Connect

New information service puts Indian communities in touch with local scrap dealers.

A group of young, environmentally conscious creatives have developed Kabadiwalla Connect, an information service designed to connect Indian communities with their local “Kabadiwallas” or scrap dealers. The system was established in response to the Indian city of Chennai’s growing waste problem.

According to the service’s website, the city generates upwards of 5000 tons of waste every day. The waste is then transported to one of the city’s two landfills.

This is far from a sustainable practice as both landfills are expected to reach full capacity by the end of this year.

Kabadiwalla Connect’s goal is to put the community in touch with an alternative to landfills: scrap dealers who have been buying and selling waste for a number of decades.

“We created our information service so that waste is diverted away from landfills and channeled to these scrap dealers or ‘kabadiwallas’. We hope that in the long run this keeps a significant amount of waste out of landfills, while increasing the kabadiwallas’ income and creating a platform for discussions to include them in waste management policy,” states the service’s website.

The system urges communities to segregate its waste then contact the nearest operating scrap dealer using the Kabadiwalla Connect map.

“As our cities grow bigger and we generate more complex waste, the task to provide this infrastructure is made even harder. Luckily, almost every Indian city has a parallel informal waste ecosystem that can do just that!” says the enterprise.