Pom Pom Trash to Cash was kick-started as an initiative to promote recycling and waste segregation by paying people for their segregated recyclables. They don't just promote recycling but also the concept of circular economy, which is basically producing-using-recycling. Here's hoping them tons of success!

The name of your start-up is quite intriguing. How did you come up with it? 

Pom Pom reflects the traditional horn and sound used by the old school kabadiwalla! We felt that the name is very unique and quirky and would definitely stick in people's minds. The idea came from our experience in waste management, where every day we saw tonnes of recyclable items being discarded and ending up in a landfill. We were fortunate to have an experienced and expert team who were into waste management, and their knowledge helped us in developing and stream-lining our processes.

How does Pom Pom To Cash really work?

Our customers can book a pick up through the phone / web / app. Our vehicles along with the recycling agent go to their premises and pick up the recyclables and pay them for it. This is then transferred to our collection centre and then on to our segregation centre where it is further segregated and then sold to recyclers. 

Why should one choose Pom Pom over the local kabadiwala?

Unlike others, we are focused on creating awareness about the concept of recycling and recyclable items. To encourage people to recycle, we don't have any minimum quantity and we don't charge for pick ups. We try hard to create a great experience for our customers and make it very easy for them to recycle and be environmentally conscious. We want to sensitize people to waste generation.

What are the challenges that you face to run such a start-up? 

The biggest challenge is spreading awareness at the grass-root level. Though people are now getting familiar with the idea of segregation, they still don’t understand the entire supply chain of recycling in terms of what all can be recycled and how. Our challenge is and will be mostly changing the mind set of people, to make them care about their waste and make them feel more responsibly towards it.

Paper and plastic waste comes from raw materials like trees and crude oil etc. If we can pump this waste back in the circular economy instead of throwing it, we can really help the environment. As of now, most people don’t know where their waste goes and don’t bother to segregate. We want to change all that! 

Delhi is one of the most polluted cities. What else, according to you, should be done by every Delhiite to overcome this problem?

Delhiites should understand that once the waste is out of their homes, it does not solve the problem. The problem is how that is managed and where it ends up. Also, think about what the impact is of the way it is being managed. Besides segregating and recycling, Delhiites should stop littering and stop anyone else from doing so in their city. It's high time we start making these small efforts for our city and educate others as well!

A lot of people aren’t gadget savvy even today, do you think that limits your market in any way?

No, it does not because we have the option of our customers calling us on our number or using the website to place their order. So even if  you cannot go the app way, we have given the option to call us as well. That makes it easy and doesn’t limit our market to only the gadget savvy users. You’d be glad to know that our youngest customer is a 4th grade school kid. We are growing!

According to you, what makes Delhi ‘So Delhi’?

I have been to many countries and cities but nothing beats my love for Delhi! What makes Delhi 'So Delhi' is the Dilli wallahs, their special 'So Delhi' hip language, the warmth they carry for others around them and of course the food!

5 tips you’d recommend to go greener?

  1. Reduce consumption.
  2. Support the usage of recyclable material.
  3. Support companies who manufacture recyclable products. 
  4. Stop littering.
  5. Start composting

Since you're catering to only South Delhi as of now, any plans to spread out to other areas of Delhi?

We started with 7 areas in South Delhi and have scaled up to cover all of South Delhi. We plan to cover the Delhi and NCR region within the next one year. Once we generate enough volumes, we plan to set up plants for recycling as well as expand to other cities. 

We aim to mainstream the top corporates, schools, banks, universities, institutions, government ministries and offices into this recycling movement which is the need of the hour. While doing all this, we'll make sure to provide the best services and reach out to both the masses and the classes. Do join us!

This is a brave, new and innovative concept, and one we need to exhort and encourage at each step - let's all make a pledge to recycle and manage waste responsibly! Come, join in.