LAUNCH Closing the Loop

Siddharth Hande: Kabadiwalla Connect

Kabadiwalla Connect

Using IT to leverage the circuits of the informal waste ecosystem to help manage recyclable waste in cities.

Imagine an app that helps people get the information they need to manage their domestic waste responsibly.


India’s waste management system is in crisis, with over 90% of all municipal waste collected by the authorities being sent to landfills every day. In Chennai alone, that’s just under 1.5 million tons every year. Landfills are quickly reaching maximum capacity, and there is a need to find alternative ways to handle urban waste.


Kabadiwalla Connect has created RecyKle, an app that helps people get the information they need to manage their domestic waste responsibly: get simple tips to help sort waste, sign-up for composting events, and connect to the closest Kabadiwalla (small scrap-dealers that are ubiquitous in the city).  The technology, which consists of an app that Kabadiwallas can use, as well as an administrator dashboard, helps drive transparency in material pricing and smarter decision making while picking up recyclables. Furthermore, India’s first smart Material Recovery Facility (MRF) is part of the innovation and uses technology to integrate into the informal waste ecosystem.


The Kabadiwalla Connect business model provides an alternative way to handle urban waste and has the potential to enable reuse of all recyclable waste that would otherwise end up in landfills. Kabadiwalla Connect believes that the ecosystem of waste pickers, small scrap-dealers (Kabadiwallas), and wholesalers represents a unique opportunity to integrate a more decentralised, cheaper and efficient model of resource recovery for cities in the developing world. If every household in Chennai sold their recyclables to their local Kabadiwalla it would reduce the amount being sent to the landfill by 70%.

“Kabadiwalla Connect is an award winning social enterprise that leverages the power of technology to make sure our city´s recyclable waste does not end up in landfills.”

– Siddharth Hande, CEO Kabadiwalla Connect, 2016.