Expé1 visited Doko Recyclers, a social enterprise based in Kathmandu that is dedicated to managing and recycling dry waste. We met with Kushal Harjani, the cofounder of Doko Recyclers.
He explained to us the current issues with waste in Nepal. Nepal’s economic climate was privatized in the 1980s, leading to steep economic growth. Due to that, awareness around pollution has recently emerged, but remains far from being a government priority. Waste reuse exists but is not formalized. There is only an informal sector operated by scraps dealers. Kushal sums up the country’s mentality towards their waste: “out of sight, out of mind”. Poor waste management solutions consist of throwing waste into rivers and stacking in landﬁlls. The waste that accumulates in these landﬁlls is not worth anything. However, they can be a resource as long as they are collected and sorted properly.
Kushal and two friends decided to start a social enterprise. In June 2017, they launched Doko Recyclers, the ﬁrst online waste collection service in Nepal. The process is simple: the user sorts his/her recyclable waste, makes an appointment online, and a Doko agent comes to collect it in exchange for money. Today, Doko Recyclers collects waste from over 2500 households, as well as over 85 companies and communities.
Doko Recyclers collects ﬁve types of recyclables: plastic, glass, metal, paper, and electronic waste. Doko Recyclers are currently developing solutions for organic waste as well: – Smart Buckets to make compost (comparable to “Bokashi”) : For individuals with gardens in partnership with BioComp and Praramva Biotech – Collection and treatment of frying oils in partnership with KFC. They will recover these oils and send them to a soap factory (since 2 weeks).
Lastly, they are also actively seeking funds to purchase a machine for recycling and processing mercury lamps, which are very common in Nepal and also very toxic… You can help them in plumfund for their project Bulb Eater for Nepal. Thank you Doko Recyclers for the visit and the explanations about the nepalese context !
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