Meet Binish Desai, the ‘Recycle Man of India’ who is repurposing the biomedical wastes piling up during the time of the pandemic generating into economically viable solutions.
COVID-19 pandemic has threatened the globe for six months now with cases still surging. India has crossed the three million mark. Another problem that simultaneously engulfs is the amount of biomedical waste generated by single-use surgical masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits. The trash generated is beyond India’s waste management capacity and is thus making its way into our oceans and landfills.
Binish Desai, a 27-year-old entrepreneur and environmentalist from Surat, has found a solution to this grave problem. His start-up ‘Eco-Eclectic Tech Group’ is converting waste produced from PPE and face masks into bricks. Known as the ‘Recycle Man of India’, Binish has developed a unique solution of manufacturing eco-friendly bricks, preventing these kits and masks from going to the landfills and oceans. Using his earlier patented technology of manufacturing eco-friendly bricks, the waste warrior upgraded his innovation to include medical waste into brick making.
The mass manufacturing of such bricks in September is expected to convert 30 to 40 metric tonnes of waste every month. Binish’s team has set up micro-industries in different regions to generate local employment and decentralized manufacturing. At a time when the country faces an unprecedented migration crisis, this business model is bringing factories to the areas where labourers live. They further wish to expand this venture within the country by collaborating with various institutions.
We had a chat with Binish to understand more about his venture and plans. This is how it went :
How do you ensure safety while collecting and transporting medical waste?
We aim at placing eco bins at different hospitals, police stations, and public spaces to collect the waste generated. Once full, they’ll be kept in isolation for 72 hours before initiating the conversion process.
Are the bricks produced as efficient as their conventional counterparts?
Oh absolutely. In fact, the bricks manufactured from waste are three times stronger than the regular ones. Additionally; these are fire and water retardant water and repel pests.
We know these bricks are environment friendly, but are these cost-effective as well?
The price of our brick is Rs. 2.8 per brick as compared to the conventional ones that cost nearly Rs 4 per brick. Its affordability makes it even more desired by the people.
Is the technology being used by you replicable?
We use the same process for making these bricks like the ones that were made from waste from the textile and paper industry. Although the process is patented, technology is easy to replicate and set up wherever you want. The investment depends on the quantum of machines one would want to put in. We would love to help set up micro industries to expedite the process.
Did you face reluctance by the workers initially regarding their safety while handling the waste?
Yes, the fear of COVID-19 is definitely there. But with proper orientation of the workers along with stringent security protocols, we overcame the hurdle. Every worker is given a PPE Kit while working which becomes our raw material after use. Once we assured them their safety was our priority, they were more than happy to work.
What is the market reaction to Brick 2.0?
More than we could have expected. And not just within the country. We are getting calls from international markets including Australia, United States, Philippines, and Brazil to enquire about our products.
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About Binish :
Dr Binish Desai, Founder, and chairperson of EE Tech Group is a PhD holder in environmental science and technology. Starting at a young age of 10 years, he ventured out on the path of formulating eco-friendly ways of managing waste produce. He had earlier developed P-block bricks made out of waste from paper mills. Witnessing the current global pandemic generate tonnes of biomedical waste daily, Binish revamped his original innovation to start project Brick 2.0. Under this, they produce bricks out of PPE kits and masks along with the paper waste and organic binders.