Bottles stopped from being dumped in Landfills
When empty glass bottles started to pile up at home, Udit Singhal, then a 16-year-old student at The British School New Delhi asked why?
Udit found that the waste collectors (kabadis) had stopped paying the few rupees per bottle that they did. Collection of glass bottles for recycling had become unviable for them because of dropping demand and because large storage spaces were needed and the transport costs were high. Empty glass bottles were not segregated anymore and started to go for dumping in the landfills.
Scarce landfill space was already a concern for the local municipal bodies. Glass does not decompose for a million years. So, Udit was keen to find a solution. His search ended in New Zealand, with an innovative environmentally friendly technology – Glass2Sand.
After formalising an understanding with the Kiwi patent-holders, Udit imported the GLSand machine from New Zealand. His bankers, Citibank, gave special approval for the transfer of the funds. His project was deemed worthy of a special grant from the New Zealand High Commissioner in India, H.E. Mrs Joanna Kempkers.
Glass2Sand aims to address the environmental concerns raised by the non-treatment of waste that was rendered worthless by the new government policy by converting it into a revenue-generating commercially valuable by-product.
And address the exploitation of the rag-pickers by the glass recycling units that allowed the prices to fluctuate and were whimsical in honouring their collection commitments.
With the bottles crushed into fine sand, any possibility of counterfeiting is also “crushed”.
The sand thus produced is used in construction activity, as lining in furnaces, for roads and other applications. Since the sand will be of the colour of the bottle, there is an opportunity to cater to an aesthetic requirement also. When used in high-end applications, the sand replaces high-value raw materials.
Udit Singhal, a 19-year-old freshman at University College London, is a Social Entrepreneur, Tech Enthusiast, Artist and Golfer.
A UN Young Leader for the SDGs, Udit is one of the 17 selected from around the world celebrated for his contributions to sustainable development. In his tenure, he will catalyse the youth to work towards the realisation of Sustainable Development Goals.
Entrepreneurship excites Udit. He expresses himself through his artworks, codes and develops websites, unwinds on the golf course. And, actively advocate creative synergies.
The High Commissioner of New Zealand to India, H.E. Joanna Kempkers, launched Glass2Sand at the New Zealand High Commission, New Delhi on the occasion of World Environment Day 2019.