Variety

Web site for raddi disposal

HEMA VIJAY | Updated on April 12, 2012 Published on April 12, 2012

Junk@ease: Collection executives of garbage recycling company kupathotti.com at a Chennai home.

Jegan and Sujatha of kuppathotti.com

Register on kuppathotti.com, get your garbage picked up, and make money.

As streets overflow with recyclable garbage, and cities struggle with inept garbage management systems, kuppathotti.com is certainly an idea whose time has come. Kuppathotti is the Tamil word for a garbage bin. The online venture offers doorstep collection of recyclable garbage, and even pays for the junk it takes.

Within six months of existence, it has 3,500 registered customers. Within 15 days of registering it sets up an appointment according to the customer's convenience. A tempo arrives at the doorstep, and a collection executive armed with a weighing pan and other paraphernalia is ready to pick up the waste — it could be anything from newspapers, empty milk sachets, plastics and metal waste, to assorted household junk and e-waste.

The site's founder Jegan recalls how it all began: “We normally take our waste plastic and paper to the raddiwala for recycling. But at one point, we had no time to do this, and we started searching on the Web for service providers who could collect our junk.” Finding none, the enterprising young software programmer in Chennai decided to set up one.

Along the way his team has had to grapple with rather strange bottlenecks. “For instance, there was a customer who turned away the collection executive, saying it was inauspicious to hand over junk after sunset, even though her husband had fixed the appointment,” says Sujatha, Jegan's wife and the company's Managing Director. A single van travels to about 25-30 customers a day, and the gunny bags of collected junk are dropped off at the company's godown, from where it is later sent to recycling factories.

For security reasons, the company provides the customer with the name of the assigned collection executive, in addition to a code. “We have given our staff ID cards too,” says Sujatha.

All its collection executives are either graduates or higher secondary school pass-outs.

“We want to give the raddiwala an image shift. It has already happened to security personnel and housekeeping services, which are now managed by professional systems. Why not with garbage disposal,” asks Jegan.

Published on April 12, 2012
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