A mechanical engineer from a prestigious institute, young, smart, and bearing the support of affluent parents. It’s easy to predict what his future job would be.
A swanky cabin, latest smartphone,suit-boot wala guy! But no, this man’s story would seem to someone as fictional, picked up from some book of unreal stories.
During engineering days, he witnessed his best friend fall from a bike and hit his head on glass, and sustained injuries. This lead Vishal Badiger to wonder, what an alcohol glass bottle was doing on the road. Upon research, he found out that although there are many takers for plastic and aluminum, there were no takers for glass, simply because new glass production and resources are available and easy. The buyback price is also too little.
But what one doesn’t realize is the cost of raw materials, fossil fuels, and water which drastically reduces when the glass is recycled.
Keeping aside the embarrassment or shame of being called kabadiwala, he jumped into the glass recycling proud business. He also has two other startups and licenses for them.
Should we specifically speak about this not-valued business, then he said to us ” I don’t bother about what people say, as long as I am earning money, I repaid loans which I took from friends and relatives, I generate employment for many”. “Do you see the van parked outside “? he asked? That’s after recycling glass that we procured from roadsides and tourist places!
These glasses are segregated according to colour, they are broken down into small pieces, to avoid them being reused! Once the load crosses a particular tonnage,he has it sent to Kolhapur and other plants for the cullet to be melted and re-manufactured.
Among his worst nightmares is one story he narrated to us, he got a call late at night from a rich businessman, who ordered him to collect 30 beer bottles from his house..” without making a sound”, people shouldn’t know I consume alcohol! … and I jokingly thought to myself, peene me sharam nahi aati, to bottle fenkne me kyu”.
Another sad part of his business is he says, ” people ask, per kg kitna milega???
How do we as a society fail to appreciate and understand what it takes of an engineer to not run after a white collared job? How do we take responsibility for our own waste glass?
When a rag picker or safai karmchari sustains injury due to our irresponsible glass disposal, how doesn’t it matter to us?
Thought to ponder over…
Well, this 26 year young man, has decided to put small steps though, into this direction and I am sure of the big impact that it will have in future. He has also proposed to fabricate compost bins, and bolt it in places, to avoid being taken away. Belagavi has many eco freaks and green thinkers, but this guy is something else. 26 is too young to think this far.
Vishal Badiger (26)
Mechanical engineer, Founder and Director of Scrapaco eco india
Glass and plastic waste management service
Location : Auto nagar industrial area, Belagavi
Scrapco eco India, in association with Dharini and Amulya Boondh foundation is conducting a glass donation drive, to create awareness that trash is indeed treasure. Many hotel owners have promised to support the move. Collecting more glasses is the secondary motive, educating the masses being the primary.
Love your waste too, on 14th Feb valentines day.