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Profitable recycling

Words like ‘disposable’ or ‘use and throw’ encourage wasteful consumerism and are marked as ‘bad’ in Clinton Vaz’s green dictionary, where the recycling and waste management culture dominates and dots every page

Bharati Pawaskar / The Goan | JANUARY 26, 2013, 07:14 AM IST

Clinton Vaz has been banking on waste since 1999 when he wasa kid and feels he is in the right business at age 31 today. “Collecting andrecycling waste is a profitable business and the youth should seriously takethis up as a profession and do it religiously. It cleans up the environment andreduces the carbon footprint,” advises this environment and waste managementconsultant. Talking about garbage is his favourite topic and he is really goodat it.  

Speaking about the volumes, Clinton stresses that collectionof waste in large volumes helps to recycle in a big way and is profitable.Citing an example he says, “Goa’s approximate consumption of tetra-packs is9,000 tonnes a year. These tetra-packs are compressed into bales and sent to acompany in Gujarat named ‘Tetrapak’ that recycles them. Separating metal,plastic and paper the tetra-packs are processed to make polyar roofing sheetsthat are durable and strong. There is lot of demand for such sheets from allover India and the waiting list of consumers is long. One has to wait for threemonths for the order to materialise.” 

Clinton collects tetra-packs and buys from PanjimMunicipality too. He sends six tonnes of tetra-packs every two months to‘Tetrapak’ company in Vapi by road. He has a bailing machine at Varca in SouthGoa where non-recyclable waste collected from the panchayats – Varca, Colva,Banaulim, half of Betalbhatim and half of Assagao is compresses into bails.“From 27 December 2012 onwards I have been collecting non-recyclable waste fromthe panchayats and giving it to the government after bailing.”

Clinton collects waste from panchayats every day in privatevehicles. After collecting it in his backyard, his workers sort it out daily.The waste is then compressed. “I process around 20 tonnes in a month. Thisgives direct jobs to eight persons, while eight more are indirectly involved,”shares Clinton. This compressed waste is then sold to various recyclingcompanies in Goa like Fomento Green and Goodearth Waste Management EnterprisesPvt Ltd.

While sharing that waste recycling and waste managementcould be a good option for future entrepreneurs, Clinton laments that thegovernment of Goa has not yet recognised this as a profession. “Recycling wasteis a profitable endeavour but the government should be supportive. At present,collection of waste and recycling is not given the status of a business. Thegovernment has not yet issued licences. I want to pay the tax but how do I goabout it? My business is not registered. When this business is generatingemployment and also profits, why can’t we be registered?” asks Clinton. Hesays, “The citizens also do not show enthusiasm to segregate the waste atsource. There is no dearth of education and awareness on waste.I am worriedthis apathy may kill the spirit of green movement.”

“We have tie-ups with 30 schools to carry out recyclingprogrammes. We give incentives to students with outstanding performance inwaste recycling. We also teach individuals to turn household wet waste intocompost and buy it from them to sell further. There is lot of demand for thisorganic compost,” states Clinton who buys it for Rs 3 a kilo and sells it to Rs6-10 a kilo. He also sells 80 litres of EM bacteria a month.

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