36ft

Social Startup 300FT Creating Infrastructure For Every Citizen To Trash

300ft really is the maximum distance there should be between two dustbins on the street. It is also the average distance a person walks in a minute. That is to say, an individual should never have to carry his/her trash for more than a minute. This premise is reflected in their tagline of 300 Feet Eco Solutions – ‘A Minute to Bin It’.

300 Feet Eco Solutions is a Waste Management Solutions Company based in Bangalore, India. It was founded in November 2012 by four like-minded individuals who wanted to bring about radical changes in the way Bangalore city, or any other city in the country in general, dealt with its waste. The four engineers Preetam Murthy, Ananth Nagaraj, Alex Cherian and Aditya Seshnath studied together in college.

“I have always believed that cleanliness and waste management are crucial aspects of urban planning and are important factors to judge a society’s development. In one of my business trips to Indonesia, the first thing that struck me was the stark difference in cleanliness and hygiene standards in India and Indonesia, even though it was also a developing country and lagged behind India in various other developmental parameters”, says Aditya. He quickly realized that there was significant business potential in waste management, while also contributing to society. Instead of merely commenting on the issues, he left his high paying corporate job to join hands with his batch mates and start 300ft.in.

Co-founders - 360FT

(clockwise) Preetam Murthy, Ananth Nagaraj, Aditya Seshnath
and Alex Cherian, Co-founders – 360FT

“It was obvious that there was no miracle cure for the waste management problem in the city. The effort would have to be systematic and sustained. We set about to find a single root cause that could be fixed to bridge a gap in the unsystematic waste collection system. Our root cause analysis highlighted the absolute lack of dustbins in the commercial areas of Bangalore City. We are not talking about bad dustbins or inadequate dustbins; we are talking about no dustbins!! A bit more research convinced us that introducing the dustbins in commercial spaces would go a long way in bringing about cleanliness on the streets,” says Preetam. That’s how 300ft came into existence.

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They have presently deployed 50 litterbins in Bangalore. They have also received MLA funding to expand the litterbin initiative to 250 litterbins covering all the commercial districts South Bangalore. “We see a necessity for a total of 2000 litterbins to cover all the commercial districts of Bangalore. We are in talks with a few companies to expand this initiative to other parts of the city as part of their CSR campaigns,” adds Preetam.

“We wanted to put our money where the mouth was (test our idea per say). So we embarked on a project to install uniquely designed dustbins to cover the streets all over the Jayanagar 4th Block Shopping Area. This was more than a year ago. In the time since then, we have forayed into providing end-to-end Waste Management Services,” says Ananth. They have carved out a niche for themselves in the Event Waste Management area by adopting segregation practices even for the waste collected at the events, thereby reducing their environmental impact.

Their vision is two-fold, to bring cleanliness onto our streets and to reduce the burden of waste ending up in landfills. 300ft offers professional waste management services to Large Event Spaces and other establishments. They actively propagate waste segregation as an essential activity in all their offerings, be it a restaurant, commercial building, or an event. The final goal of all our offerings is to achieve “Zero Waste to Landfill”. They generate revenues through advertisements, where a client has an option to display back-lit advertising on their surfaces. “Our clients have the option of using these spaces as effective branding mediums or as a platform to advertise their offerings. Deploying these bins also have the potential of making the entire waste management effort more cost effective and in some cases even profitable for our clients. When deployed on the streets, these bins can turn into highly effective social messaging platforms. We are actively marketing a combination of our services to change the way corporations and individuals view the waste management problem in the country,” says Alex.

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They have partnered with a number of organizations in an effort to provide effective services. These include waste recyclers, organic waste converters, NGOs working in the waste management segment as well as resident and commercial associations. They intend to create crowd-sourced waste management applications in the future to effectively track waste management across the city. In the long run, they plan to bring systematic waste management system to India. “In the near future, we intend to set up a state of the art waste management center that would work to segregate and dispose waste in an environmentally sustainable manner, thus further reducing the burden on landfills.,” says Aditya. As a message for future entrepreneurs he says, “If you believe in an idea, stick with it. See it through.”

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