Aakash Hingu, from Gujarat, is an IIT Mandi alumnus. He had his placement carry him into an IT firm in Chandigarh. After working there for one and half years, he finally left it to start a ‘company’ called - ‘Ex Junk’.
This new company strives to reduce or finish the hassles involved in the selling of scrap material, which is considered useless. But this can surely be recycled and reused! “We want to apprise people that more than selling off your scrap, recycling is important. We want to change the thought process of people so that they end up selling off their scrap with a purpose to recycle it and that is where we come in the picture--- to ensure that recycling is being done," says Hingu.
There is an elaborate explanation of what can be sold as scrap. This may range from cardboard packaging to toilet roll tubes, one can sell it to Ex Junk. Further, the website also offers the tips exemplified by rinsing the bottles and cans, flatten the cardboard boxes prior to selling them off etc. "The kabadiwalas do not take all types of scrap that a household generates over a period of time. However, we are collecting a variety of scrap from households that often goes to waste and people get money in return for waste, so that makes it beneficial for them," says Mohammad Anas Ansari, 24-year-old software engineer and an alumnus of NIT Jalandhar and Ex Junk member. "We get most of the orders from Chandigarh. We got orders from some hostelers in Panjab University (PU), and government quarters in Sector 7, Chandigarh, where the local kabadiwalas are not allowed to enter the houses due to security reasons. So, we have a range of customers that we deal with," says Hingu.
Ashish Singh, another IIT Mandi alumnus developed an android app and is working on to further bring even more features here. An ios app of Ex Junk is also in the pipeline.
Neeraj Bansal, an alumnus from NIT Jalandhar and currently working for an IT firm says,"As a software engineer I know that IT people have a 9 to 6 job and don't have time to hunt for a kabadiwala to sell off their scrap. So, it is easy for them as well to book a pickup,"
Every day, about 10 inquiries are received by Ex Junk, while close to half of them transform into orders. Owing to all the team members being software engineers, the pickups occur only on weekends. When asked about the future plans, Hingu says, "We have fixed a target for the next three months and once we achieve it, we will make the service available for the entire Tricity. As of now, we don't provide this service in Panchkula."
The scrap dealers get the collected scrap in Industrial area. "The scrap goes from a customer to kabadiwala, who gives it to a local retailer and then he sends it to the recycling plant but with Ex Junk, this long chain breaks down to make us the only connection between customer and recycling plant," Hingu added.