Waste4Change is building a circular economy in Indonesia • TechCrunch


Even Indonesia’s largest landfills are at (or near) capacity, and the government has set an ambitious target of 30% waste reduction by 2025. Waste4Change is one of the companies that wants to help by increasing recycling rates and enabling better waste management. . The startup, which currently manages over 8,000 tons of waste annually, today announced it has raised $5 million in Series A funding, co-led by AC Ventures and PT Barito Mitra Investama.

Other participants in the round include Basra Corporation, Paloma Capital, PT Delapan Satu Investa, Living Lab Ventures, SMDV and Urban Gateway Fund. Founded in 2014, Waste4Change has seen a CAGR of 55.1% since 2017 and operates in 21 cities across Indonesia, where its services are currently used by approximately 100 B2B customers and over 3,500 households.

Waste4Change was created by Founder and CEO Mohamad Bijaksana Junerosano based on conversations between PT Greeneration Indonesia, an NGO, and waste management organization PT Bumi Lestari Bali (ecoBali) to form a company that reduces the amount of waste that end up in landfills. Junerosano is an environmental engineer by training and spent 16 years working in the solid waste sector.

Junerosano says a major opportunity is created by Indonesia’s low recycling rates (around 11% to 12%), which means there are plenty of valuable recyclable materials left.

“Reducing waste is a top priority, followed by optimizing and recycling materials that support the concept of a true circular economy,” he told TechCrunch.

Waste4Change will use its new funding to expand and increase its waste management capacity to 100 tonnes per day over the next 18 months, with the goal of reaching over 2,000 tonnes per day over the next 18 months. of the next five years.

The Waste4Change team

Junerosano said Waste4Change differentiates itself from traditional waste management solutions by providing an end-to-end solution, focused on sustainability and zero waste. Part of its strategy includes greater digital integration to monitor and record the waste management process and automate its material recovery facilities.

“We view digital onboarding as a valuable tool for building a sustainable waste management ecosystem,” he said. “The goal is always to create harmony between the environment, economy and people.” Waste4Change’s digital onboarding strategy this year and next includes improving its waste journey reporting and tracking, which its customers receive after their waste has been treated.

To use Waste4Change, customers can have a collection team collect their pre-sorted waste or drop it off themselves. The company currently has 108 employees and 141 waste management operators, and plans to add 52 more people to its team and work with 300 informal waste collectors and SMEs. Informal waste collectors include garbage collectors, waste banks, waste stalls and waste aggregators.

For recycling business partners, including informal waste collectors, Waste4Change is building a platform to help them sell and buy solid waste with the company. The objective is to increase the traceability and accuracy of the waste management process. He is also working on a program called Send Your Waste, where consumers can send waste to Waste4Change collection points. An app tells them what types of waste to send, where the nearest collection point is and what kind of reward they can receive.

Junerosano says informal waste collectors tend to be selective about the materials they collect, choosing PET bottles, glass and cardboard. But that means less desirable materials like PP plastic, multi-layer packaging and polystyrene foam are often left behind, polluting the environment. To combat this, Waste4Change has launched a service called Waste Credit, which incentivizes picking up certain materials and also makes it easy for waste collectors to set up these businesses.

“Given the crucial role of the informal sector in improving Indonesia’s recycling rate, we aim to build a waste recycling platform that will keep the system sustainable,” he said. “We are more than happy to bring it to life with a joint venture or joint operation with other industry players, including those in the informal sector and local temporary waste storage sites Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (3R).”

In a statement, AC Ventures founding partner Pandu Sjahrir said, “Waste4Change is a pioneer providing an end-to-end waste management solution. Sustainability is the team’s primary focus, with a demonstrated commitment to building a better future for Indonesia. The company proves that it has achieved product market fit and has the potential to expand nationwide. »

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