Platform For Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Management | CleanTech Startup Idea


This CleanTech Startup Idea from the 1001 Startup Ideas collection of YoStartups is to create an online Platform for Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Management. This platform can help municipalities and retailers to safely dispose, reuse or recycle labelled Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) and other chemicals that are generally discarded or incinerated. This start-up can also ensure that some of this waste can be monetized to offset the costs involved in waste disposal.

Market definition for Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Management

As per a report published by BCC research in 2015, the global market for hazardous waste management reached $25.9 billion in 2014 and is expected to grow to nearly $33.9 billion in 2019, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.5%. An as per Statista in 2015 alone, the hazardous waste management industry generated a revenue of approximately 10.9 billion U.S. dollars. The UN estimates that the waste generation is going to only increase in the developing economies and in Asia.

Most of the sorting of waste and disposal is still being done manually, which is inefficient, inconsistent and can often lead to mix up of various wastes. So automation of this process of waste sorting, disposal and turning it into a circular economy from a waste economy presents a huge opportunity for startups who can develop tech based solutions for waste management.

Competitor analysis for a Startup in Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Management

Smarter sorting brings transparency and reuse to the incineration-only world of consumer chemical waste management. Smarter Sorting’s machine learning driven technology solution allows municipalities and retailers to avoid categorizing used or dented consumer chemical products as waste. This effectively re-designates what used to be regulated waste as product, unlocking exciting new opportunities for reuse and helping customers achieve their zero waste goals. Because of existing compliance and disposal burdens, Smarter Sorting customers save money, increase staff efficiency and improve their compliance.

Pain point and target audience for Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Management

The target audience for this startup would be Retail Supermarket Chains, and city municipalities. Stores/distribution centers have trouble properly sorting returned, damaged or underperforming chemical products for reuse or disposal. These institutions incur costs in terms of storing, labor for sorting and grouping, disposal costs for incinerating and maintaining documentation.

The municipalities often end up incurring both costs of storing and transporting waste to the nearest landfill or incinerators as they don’t have a standard way of sorting out the waste and selling it to end users. The supermarkets and retail chains end up disposing items which can be reused, recycled to verified end users as they do not have access to an integrated end to end waste management and disposal solution.

Value proposition for Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Management

The retailers, municipalities and other end users can get a fully integrated waste management platform which can segregate, classify and dispose waste as per latest regulation. As the logistics and waste management vendors will be integrated onto the platform, the end users can sort out their waste label it and dispose it as per their convenience. This will not only free up their resources, it will also help them reduce their impact on the environment due to unsafe disposals. The municipalities can offset their operational costs by selling some of the recyclable wastes and dispose the rest safely. The data generated in return can be used to plan policies and operations in the future for safe waste disposal.

Business model for Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Management

The proposed startup will follow a subscription-based model with a one-time integration cost with the existing inventory management systems for data tagging. The hardware cost will be at actuals. The startup can sell three types of subscriptions of the software, for retailers and municipalities

a) A data analytics and reporting only version, which can scan all the waste products and provide data for waste generation and safe compliant disposal.

b) Charge the end users on the number of items scanned through the software platform

c) Charge the end users on the basis of total weight processed and safely disposed through the platform

d) Charge a percentage of total savings generated through the platform from the end user.

Way to market for Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Management

The proposed startup will have to build an online platform and upload data for a list of commonly disposed labelled goods that can be re-used, recycled and disposed safely as per the standard norms. The startup up will then have to tie up with a local retailer or municipality to start trialing the platform for accuracy in classifying the waste into their relative category for re-use, recycling or disposal. The start-up will have to run a pilot till the platform is accurate to classify all types of waste as per their categories. The startup can then start onboarding vendors who can recycle, re-use or dispose this waste and integrate them with a logistics framework for a seamless process of waste disposal for its customers.

Key milestones for a Startup in Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Management

The designing of the platform, the database of the labelled goods for disposal and integrating this platform with a handheld scanner will have to be completed within the first two quarters. The start-up will have to ensure that all the procedures for disposal are compliant with the local laws of the land.

The startup will then have to tie-up with the end users of the product for trialing the platform like the retailers and municipalities to validate the accuracy of the platform and ensure that all the bugs are eliminate from the platform and the missing data can be uploaded. This phase will have to be completed within the third quarter. The start-up will have to finish onboarding Vendors for recycling and reusing the waste and integrate them with a logistics framework on the platform. Once the platform is able to handle end-to end process of waste sorting and disposal, the startup can launch its product officially.

Investment needed for Prototyping a Startup in Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Management

The startup can raise upto $125k rom startup B2B SaaS accelerators like Venture Tec focused on Asia Pacific, Alchemist or Y Combinator to create an online platform with a repository of disposable labelled goods. The start-up will also get access to the accelerators network to validate the product and its market-fit. All the funds raised will have to be utilized to develop the product and accelerate its go-to market strategy and not for operational expenses.

Team capability for this Business Idea

The team will need a full-stack developer for developing and testing the algorithm and develop API’s for it to get the integrated to the existing inventory management systems and the handheld scanners. The startup will also need an expert in Environmental Compliance, hazardous waste management who can integrate ISO management systems for both compliance and third party audits. The other desired co-founder should have experience in waste management industry who can accelerate onboarding of customers

Investors/Expert take on a Startup in Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Management

Waste mangement has been a perennial problem plaguing the municipalities, retailers and other industries due to ever changing regulations and stricter compliance norms. It is often expensive to hire independent consultants who can sort waste and safely dispose it. A SaaS based solution will be a welcome addition to the ever changing world of waste management. However, to gain an unfair advantage over the competition the start-up will have to integrate image processing, machine learning and big data analytics to make it a compelling proposition for Enterprise end users, municipalities and Investors.

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