Solution Overview & Team Lead Details

Our Organization

Harstuff

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

What is the name of your solution?

Zero waste housing solutions

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Provide a one-line summary of your solution.

Solving world's garbage crisis by zero waste housing products that decentralise household waste ecosystem and generate a new carbon economy on web 3.0

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Film your elevator pitch.

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

What specific problem are you solving?

India’s 7,935 urban towns & cities generate 62 million tonnes of solid municipal waste in a year, 2019 data. In India, waste is not the actual problem. It is mixed waste and its segregation that is the real challenge and the reason why 96% of Indian household waste is being dumped into landfills every day where rotting organic waste releases Methane that has 80 times more warming power of C02. Also, when we see what majorly constitutes India's household waste dump - it's not plastic but organic waste which comprises 60%-70% of total waste volume generated from Indian households. As per the data research done on an Indian city, Bengaluru - 2.9 million households generate 2800 tons of organic waste per day. Out of which, 2200 tons of collected waste is dumped into landfills and 600 tons of remaining uncollected waste is just openly burnt by the citizens. The collection, transportation, open burning, and landfill dumping combinedly emit 8000 tons -eq CO2 per day in Bengaluru.

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

What is your solution?

Harstuff is solving one of the most alarming problems of India - waste, by decentralizing the household waste ecosystem via zero waste housing solutions. Our first product in this space is Rawbin, a home composter because we are highly convinced that composting is a relatively low-tech way of achieving carbon sinking and sequestration and simply ensuring household waste is composted could become a serious tool in the battle to save our planet. Rawbin is not just reducing organic waste but also solving a very delicate human behavioral problem - Segregation and providing an optimal food to our soil that ensures nutrient cycling, water regulation, flood protection, and habitats for biodiversity. 

Process wise, Rawbin (patent pending) eases the whole composting activity for a normal human being. It is designed as such to minimize the manual part on the user front to compost their daily household organic waste and aesthetic wise also it is curated very consciously to eliminate the current composting issues - bad smell, fruit flies, and even looks that enable people to place Rawbin anywhere inside their house, not just kitchen. Most importantly, Rawbin uses no electricity and is economical, it is structured as such that utilizes the power of microbes in an efficient way. What's more, Rawbin doesn't convert the organic waste into regular compost, it rather produces a better food for soil called COMBI (co-composted biochar).

Technology wise, Rawbin is equipped with intelligent sensors that transmit real data to the user app as soon as the COMBI is ready. This data is further tokenized into carbon offsets NFTs on Hedera network and this way, we are not only democratizing the creation of the carbon credits, but the buying of those credits as well, thus creating a new carbon gig economy globally using a transparent, decentralized, and scalable system. 

50948_WhatsApp%20Image%202022-03-13%20at%205_1440x810.jpeg

Image for reference purpose: Rawbin in a kitchen space. 

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

We are targeting Indian households to empower them to manage their waste at their own level and eliminating the issues of the current waste management system. Additionally, we are also making the NFT industry greener.

No tool to manage waste at the basic user level

We keep emphasizing people to responsibly consume and produce waste (SDG 12) but have we provided them with an efficient tool that makes it possible?! Behavioral change doesn't happen by showing the impacts of waste and the related carbon emissions. It needs a smart strategy that benefits people on their personal level and not just environmentally and socially. Rawbin is exactly doing that.

Bulk collection and treatment is the pain point of the waste problem

In an apartment housing 500 people, it is almost impossible to have proper segregation maintained at every human level, and once a single person disrupts the process, it destroys the whole hard work of 499 people. The collected batch still goes into the category of mixed waste. That is why the decentralization of household waste management is a dire need.

Eliminating the issues of bulk composting

There are many composting plants currently operating all across India but most of them have either stopped working or they produce a very low-quality compost due to the following reasons: 

  • Minor mechanical fault leads to a complete breakdown due to the unavailability of spare parts as most of the semi-mechanized machinery is imported.
  • Mixed nature of waste is a major difficulty. Pulverizers get frequently clogged with pieces of rags, plastic and rubber, etc. and blades of which are broken down due to metal and glass pieces present in the waste.
  • Amount of soil mixed into the waste also causes problem in the process, in addition to the lowering of the quality produced.
  • Lack of continuous power supply is another problem.
  • The actual capacity usually turns out to be far less than the designed capacity.
  • In the rainy season, the process cannot be carried out.
  • Lack of market for the substandard finished product is another issue. As a result it becomes hard for the enterprise to become self sustained.

Offsetting carbon emissions of NFTs and their marketplaces

The newness of blockchain and NFTs limits the readily available information on how environmentally friendly this technology and these digital assets are. To be exact, an average Ethereum transaction requires 73 kWh of electricity, which can be equated to 35 kgCO2 of emissions (approximately equivalent to 3 days of electricity consumption for an average home) and relating this to NFT, Memo Akten, a popular NFT marketplace, has a carbon footprint of 211 kgCO2. Given the kind of popularity and acceptance Blockchain and NFTs have gained in recent times, it is no doubt that there is a bright future for this tech. However, ignorance of its environmental impact will be lethal to us given the current climate crisis we are in.

This is where our carbon offset NFTs will play an important role in offsetting the carbon emissions of the global NFTs, thus facilitating artists, consumers, and marketplaces to make this industry cleaner and carbon negative.

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

Our team is a perfect blend of people who converge to one single value - stop trashing the planet. We all are based out of India and hence, understand the demographics of Indian households and their waste consumption habits very rightly. In order to understand the Indian waste problem in depth, we started our zero waste journey 1.5 years back, and that's when our waste research began that made us aware of all the harsh realities of recycling and waste management. The idea which you see now has been crafted after a well-thought process watching 32456 documentaries on plastic, recycling, ocean pollution, and whales; reading 453627 research papers on zero waste and its significant positive impact on climate change; analyzing zero waste city models of Austin, Kamikatsu, Pune, and Alaminos.

There has been a dedicated research and purposeful efforts behind designing Rawbin. To understand the immense benefits of composting that usually go unnoticed by people, we read multiple papers and talked to soil scientists that proved how composting can enormously help soil sequester carbon from the environment. When we found that soil carbon sequestration could be scaled up to sequester 2–5 GtCO2 per year by 2050, with a cumulative potential of 104–130 GtCO2 by the end of the century at a cost of between $0 and $100 per ton of CO2, it gave us major push and guidance to constantly keep working in a direction that makes this possible.

To test Rawbin's generated compost carbon sequester ability, we also got it tested from a soil laboratory that attested our theoretical research results.

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Enable mass production of inexpensive and low-carbon housing, including changes to design, materials, and construction methods.

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Where our solution team is headquartered or located:

Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Our solution's stage of development:

Prototype
Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

How many people does your solution currently serve?

1 billion people (248 million Indian households).

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Why are you applying to Solve?

We are looking for help, guidance, and mentorship in the following areas:

Financial: Since our product is a hard tech, we need to raise some money (at least 1m USD) to launch it in pilot mode in one city of India. The money would be primarily used for manufacturing and marketing purpose.

Business model: We want to scale Rawbin all over India or even further and to do so we need guidance on various themes such as scaling, distribution strategy, segmented marketing, product development, branding and influence, etc.

Building a wide market for COMBI: Market research says that the global compost market is expected to reach an estimated $9.2 billion by 2024. The future of the compost market looks promising with opportunities in the agriculture, home gardening, landscaping, horticulture, and construction industries. However, it's a tough challenge to persuade Indian farmers about the long-term benefits of organic farming. Illiteracy and poverty keep them committed to cheap farming practices that involve chemical fertilizers and pesticides. We need help to strategize our course of action that makes COMBI a market-fit product for Indian farmers.

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

Business model (e.g. product-market fit, strategy & development)

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Anu Khandelwal

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.
More About Your Solution

What makes your solution innovative?

Waste problem if broken down into simplest subproblems, it would be:

  1. Segregation
  2. Sorting
  3. Cleaning

Our solution, Rawbin fixes the first subproblem in an innovative and scalable way that no one has even thought about:

  • Rawbin is the first product in decentralized waste management space that makes in-house composting easy and feasible for people.
  • Providing better food for regenerative agriculture farming by introducing biochar in the compost-making process. So, we are not making compost, we are making COMBI - co-composted biochar.
  • For the first time, people can earn for their goodness. 
  • Rawbin's transparent way of capturing the waste data makes auditing a lot easy for the carbon credit issuers and buyers.
  • Moreover, web 3.0 and tokenized carbon credit NFTs make a reliable decentralized carbon economy in a scalable and economic way. Simultaneously, offsetting the other NFT's carbon emissions.

By just fixing the household organic waste, we are fixing the other territories too:

  • Lesser waste going to landfills (reduced to 50% at least) --> fewer methane emissions.
  • No open burning of waste.
  • Cleaner surroundings and cities.
  • Huge cost savings on waste management for the government (Bengaluru alone spends 33m USD yearly on waste management).
  • Expanding regenerative farming practices nationally --> mitigating soil degradation
  • Less use of fertilizers and pesticides --> reduced level of Nitrogen and phosphorus in the environment.
  • Less production and use of fertilizers and pesticides --> fewer CO2 emissions in manufacturing these products.
  • Enhancing soil carbon sequestration --> an effective carbon removal method
  • Less leachate flowing to oceans --> reduced ocean acidification
  • Increased water holding capacity for soil --> fewer dry plants and forests  --> fewer wildfires
Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

What are your impact goals for the next year and the next five years, and how will you achieve them?

Our goal is to acquire Indian household organic waste of 4 major metro cities (Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai) by the end of next year and gradually acquire all types of household waste (dry and wet) in the next 5 years down the line. Since Indian household waste is 70% organic waste and we also believe that this % will only grow with more and more biodegradable/compostable products coming up in the future, we definitely need a decentralized solution for composting like Rawbin that makes good use of these products, otherwise what is the use of manufacturing such environmentally friendly products if they are still ending up in landfills ?!

Our 5-year plan is to make Rawbin an integral part of every Indian family like washing machine, refrigerator, microwave, etc so that the composting culture gets ingrained in every single person in the country. To attain this, we want to move strategically and start with the city, Bengaluru, which has more environmentally conscious people as compared to other parts of India. We want to launch Rawbin in 3 phases:

  • Pilot/Phase 1: targeted to conscious customers who intentionally want to buy Rawbin with the sole purpose of doing good to the environment.
  • Growth/Phase 2: improving the inefficiencies and incorporating learnings/feedbacks from phase 1, we would have our 2nd launch targeted to 2m households of Bengaluru in another 6 months.
  • Scale/Phase 3: Replicating the above and scale them to other metro cities.

These 3 phases will cover almost 50% of the total generated organic waste in India. Gradually, the product will also make its space in tier 2 and tier 3 cities of India. By then, we would also start working on our next products that fix the dry waste - plastic, paper, metal, glass, and e-waste.

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?

Our solution is directly aligned with 2 SDGs out of the 17 enlisted:

SDG 11 - Sustainable cities and communities

SDG 12 - Responsible consumption and production

Our mitigation calculations for CO2, CH4, and N2O emissions are evaluated using a widely accepted method developed by Chen & Lo and the IPCC guidelines for GHG emissions. For most 1.5ºC pathways set by IPCC, even with drastic decarbonization, we will still need to remove 6-10 Gt of CO2 every year. We have evaluated Rawbin's progress in this perspective and as per our calculation, Rawbin, if implemented in every Bengaluru household, will reduce 2.9 million tons of CO2 every year. That's just one city, imagine the national impact! Note: this number doesn't include the estimations of carbon removal caused by soil sequestration because of the complexity of the methods. 

Another indicator considered to measure our progress is the Stockholm Resilience report, which clearly indicates the red zones of nitrogen and phosphorus levels that have been radically changed with the overuse of fertilizers. Though our planet is at risk from various angles, it is important to identify the risks that have become most acute and catastrophic so that we can plan and prioritize our actions accordingly. Thus, Rawbin is the need of the hour!

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

What is your theory of change?

Changing the basic properties of waste

Waste, as we all see it in the present form, is dirty and has two basic characteristics:

  • It looks bad.
  • It smells bad.

We are reversing both via Rawbin. Looks and aesthetic wise, we have designed Rawbin as an aspirational product that makes its way in every Indian family kitchen or even living room. Not only does it look good, but it also smells earthy (fyi: geosmin is our magic ingredient). Thus, in the long term, Rawbin will make people see waste as a resource.

Change happens when people discuss it widely at their homes

Waste has been an ignorant issue for decades. Our eyes have got so comfortable with roads full of plastic wrappers, drains clogged with sludge, and waste being openly burnt at every corner of the street, that we simply don't see it. To change this, we have to change people's vision about it so they talk about it more often.

As per our survey done on Instagram with 250 people, only 39 people were aware of what happens to their waste once they throw it in their dustbin; just 20 people knew what are landfills; merely 12 people had some idea about composting and yet, most of it was misconceptions.

Rawbin will bring a radical change in people's awareness and knowledge about waste. People won't shy away by enclosing it in a drawer like dustbins, they would rather flaunt and talk about it in front of their relatives or friends as they do for Alexa.

Improving educational gaps 

Many times, people do not have clarity about what is biodegradable and what's not, which is why they end up mixing the biodegradable material with non-biodegradables which further complicates the segregation process in the waste management (WM) chain. Similarly, most people do not know how much time it takes for a potato or paper to decompose. Of course, you can find all these things on google but it is always easier to remember things that you experience than the ones you are taught.

Composting at home will make people aware of compostable stuff so that they can follow the same even if they are on a holiday. This is something that needs to be taught to a kid at home itself as a part of environmental science like we are told how to walk and how to talk.

A new source of positivity 

Rawbin, in its most raw form, will act as a source of positivity for every person.  Research proves that waste sorting activities increase the pro-environmental behavior among people the most as compared to other sustainable activities.

Sustainability demands change in human behavior

Basic rule: Waste is generated by people and they solely should be held responsible to produce, manage and control it. The current system doesn't take this fact into consideration and thus, it is simply flawed! 

Waste management traditionally has been a centralized process globally, which means the responsibility of bulk collection and treatment of waste remains with the waste management service provider (municipal government in most cases). Therefore, the responsibility and relationship of a person with the waste end at the moment he/she throws it in the dustbin. We see this as the root cause of the global waste problem and we want to solve this by decentralizing the whole process, fixing it at the root by giving every user the power and resources to manage their waste at their own level, eventually turning everyone into a zero waste person.

Bringing real behavioral change

When you see something happening in front of your eyes, it brings a change in your behavior. Seeing their waste getting converted into something valuable, that not only feeds the soil but also provides a monthly incentive, will act as a source of motivation for people that they can never get by just throwing away their waste. This is how they will understand the importance of circularity - BY DOING IT.

Furthermore, people will themselves see how much waste they have reduced by just composting.  Their daily dustbin volume will tell.

Pricing carbon emissions of digital assets

We believe that a systematic policy change should be brought in developing/manufacturing any product. The cost of climate change such as climate tax should be included according to the estimation of carbon emissions evaluated through the life cycle assessment (LCA) of the product. Through Rawbin NFTs, we are trying to implement this for digital assets.

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Describe the core technology that powers your solution.

50914_Screenshot%202022-03-21%20at%2012_1440x810.png

Current carbon credit markets have multiple loopholes: the auditing data is fractured, leading to 1.5 - 2 yrs to validate and issue the carbon credits; buyers do not have a reliable tool to access the genuinity of carbon credits. It is an opaque system right now with little visibility of who is buying what. 

However, Web 3.0 resolves all of these issues very feasibly and scalably in a perfect decentralized manner. In fact, it is the best use case for tokenized carbon credit NFTs. Done right, it can increase the access to carbon credits, and when used in smart contracts (NFTs), it can increase trust in areas lacking proper governance, and most importantly it can hugely help narrow the gap between those creating the impact and those who wish to support, sponsor, or fund it.  

We are using Hedera - a revolutionary blockchain comparable technology based on proof-of-stake public network, powered by hashgraph consensus, for effectively digitizing the methodologies that measure, report, and verify attributes of Rawbin's COMBI data down to one metric tonne of CO2. The Hedera-based Rawbin tokens will be primarily used to offset the carbon emissions of the global NFT industry and would also be eligible to trade on carbon markets in the form of NFTs. 

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new business model or process that relies on technology to be successful

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Behavioral Technology
  • Blockchain
  • Internet of Things
  • Manufacturing Technology
Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?

  • 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • 12. Responsible Consumption and Production
Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

In which countries do you currently operate?

  • India
Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • India
Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.
Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?

For-profit, including B-Corp or similar models

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

How many people work on your solution team?

full time - 2, part time - 2, consultant - 3, contractor - 1

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

How long have you been working on your solution?

1.5

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

What is your approach to incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusivity into your work?

We are a small team right now with a Founder and CEO (F), an industrial designer (F), a blockchain developer (M), and a digital marketing head (F). The team is geographically distributed all across India covering the South, Southeast, and North regions. There has been a conscious effort from the starting itself to have a strong founding team based on converging values and diverging thought processes because we strongly believe that converging values draw you to similar questions and diverging opinions open up new solutions. The company culture we want to build is purely based on the values and thus, our one and only non-negotiable bias while hiring people for our dream team is- believer in the catastrophic impacts of climate change. 

Our goal is to build leaders for the future planet. People who work with us are encouraged to take decisions independently while keeping the broad vision of the company to help them improve their leadership skills. It not only refines their decision-making skills but also makes them feel confident that their contribution is valued and respected in the company.

In the future, we definitely want to have a diverse team structure of people who truly want to contribute their skills to create something meaningful. For a strong founding team, we are striving for people with entrepreneurial instincts who build a strong company culture from the foundation itself. To assure this, we mostly lookout people on relatable platforms such as Y Combinator.

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.
Your Business Model & Funding

What is your business model?

51282_Rawbin%20Final%20Business%20Model_1440x810.png

to read the above chart: start from left (Buys Rawbin) and go anti-clockwise. Solid lines represent the fixed business process flow.  Incentivizing model is represented in blue and pink lines, between them only one will follow as per the customer choice. Bold blue solid lines represent the most probable way of incentivizing customers for their waste utilization. Dashed pink lines represent the alternative option customer can go for.

Note: Since we are in the prototyping phase, we don't have specifics about distribution channels, customer segment, revenue numbers, etc.

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, to other organizations, or to the government?

Individual consumers or stakeholders (B2C)
Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

What is your plan for becoming financially sustainable?

Our plan is to raise initial funding (upto 1-2m USD) via grants. This money will be primarily used to launch our first product in pilot mode and have a proof-of-concept revenue model. Later, we plan to raise funds through equity funding via VC or a group of angel investors.

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Share some examples of how your plan to achieve financial sustainability has been successful so far.

We have not approached anyone so far to raise funds. We have raised some money from our friends and family and utilized personal savings to run the basic company operations and have our first prototype manufactured. Our venture is totally bootstrapped right now.

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Solution Team

  • Anu Khandelwal Founder & CEO, Harstuff
 
    Back
to Top