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Kuldeep Dantewadia: Managing Waste

Kuldeep Dantewadia's Reap Benefit manages garbage, changes habits

Published: Feb 17, 2014

Kuldeep Dantewadia | 25
CEO & co-founder, Reap Benefit

CATEGORY: NGOS & SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP

After a business administration degree, in 2009 Kuldeep Dantewadia took a ride on Jagriti Yatra, which takes aspiring entrepreneurs on a train journey across the country, meeting successful innovators. The experience affirmed his determination to do something about the environment. Driven by enthusiasm and without much planning, Dantewadia, with a few friends, started collecting garbage. He spent six months understanding the garbage economy. “I found that there were a lot of behavioural issues,” he says, politely referring to our habit of not disposing of garbage correctly.

In 2011, Dantewadia, Kamal Raj (who used to work with a composting organisation), and Gautam Prakash (formerly of Microsoft and the Ashoka Foundation) formed Reap Benefit, with two key objectives: Finding behavioural change models and developing affordable ways towards more sustainable living. They went beyond garbage: “We realised we had to look at not just waste but also water, energy and greenery.”

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Reap Benefit has engaged with 85 educational institutions, and 25 companies and NGOs. They have also developed a low-cost sanitation system from discarded plastics, created a computer program that saves energy use, and created Degrade and Upgrade, affordable organic enzymes which convert waste into compost. They claim to have saved about 2,100,000 litres of water, been instrumental in diverting 200,000 kilos of waste and saving 200,000 units of power.

Almitra H. Patel, Member, Supreme Court Committee for Solid Waste Management, says “I admire him for giving up a cushy life and opting for the hard road of changing social behaviour.”

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(This story appears in the 21 February, 2014 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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  • Tanuja

    i get inspired by your work thank you sir

    on May 29, 2014
  • Tanuja Davne

    sir i get inspired by your work

    on May 29, 2014
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