TrashCon wins Xynteo Exchange Impact Maker Award

15 Oct 2019

  • Indian start-up helps solve the problem of waste management by separating mixed waste into biodegradable and non-biodegradable components using its patented technology
  • TrashCon receives €50,000 towards scaling its social business as part of awardTrashCon

11th October 2019: Xynteo – a mission-driven business – has announced that Indian start-up TrashCon is the winner of the Xynteo Exchange Impact Maker Award 2019. The award was created to help scale commercial solutions to some of humanity’s most pressing problems.

TrashCon was awarded with the €50,000 grand prize at this year’s Xynteo Exchange in Oslo, Norway, presented by Osvald Bjelland, CEO and Chairman, Xynteo.

The start-up’s technology separates unsegregated municipal solid waste, including food, plastics, cardboard and diapers, into biodegradable components which can be recycled into biogas or compost. Non-biodegradable components can be used as furniture boards or pyrolyzed (thermally decomposed) into oil. This approach will help enable the move towards less landfill in India.

TrashCon was chosen for its potential to address some of the world’s biggest economic and sustainability challenges, with the award categories this year covering responsible food systems (sponsored by Yara), finance for a greater good (sponsored by Nordea) and sustainable transport (sponsored by Scania).  

The Xynteo Exchange brings 500 mission-driven leaders and practitioners across business, academia, the arts, and activism to Oslo, to accelerate collaborative action to tackle systemic problems, and re-think economic growth. Local and global entrepreneurs and innovators working towards solving the world’s most pressing problems contended for The Xynteo Exchange Impact Maker Award. In total, 35 local and global entrepreneurs and innovators showcased their solutions in areas as diverse as insect farming, AI data analytics for transport, and waste management. The award is presented to the initiative seen to have the greatest potential to drive environmental and social impact, as voted for by Exchange participants.

The Xynteo Exchange/Norway opened on 9th October to over 500 participants, including CEOs and senior leaders from 300 organisations, across 35 nationalities. The Xynteo Exchange is a two-day event that brings together leaders, thinkers and doers from global businesses, start-ups, NGOs, policy, academia and the arts to inspire new thinking and catalyse action towards a more sustainable, inclusive growth model. Participants participated in open innovation workshops, addressing themes such as the future of work, sustainable food, future-fit finance, tomorrow’s consumer, the bioeconomy and digital oceans. Live discussions featured senior business leaders, activists and political figures such as Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia; Hans Vestberg, CEO of Verizon; Jesper Brodin, CEO of Ingka Group (incorporating Ikea Retail); Svein Tore Holsether, CEO, Yara; Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway; and Indian youth activist Ridhima Pandey.

Osvald Bjelland, Xynteo Chairman and CEO said: “Our current growth model is broken. While it has delivered huge gains to humanity, it has become exclusionary, degenerative and dangerous. Businesses must take more responsibility for solving some of our greatest environmental and societal challenges, so it is incredibly exciting to see so many serious impact makers here at Xynteo Exchange/Norway today. TrashCon’s technology is already helping save 54 acres of landfill a day in India, and the €50,000 grand prize will undoubtedly go towards strengthening the impactful work they do.”

TrashCon founder, Nivedha R.M, commenting on receipt of the award said: “Everyone of those digits is a responsibility to use the money to benefit thousands of lives. Our machines can process up to 10 tonnes of unsegregated waste per day. We will use the funding to help scale production of our machines.”

About Xynteo

Xynteo is a mission-driven business that works with leading companies to transform themselves and the systems in which they operate for sustainable and inclusive growth.

We help businesses form coalitions across sectors to drive collaborative action on systemic problems and we work with leaders to design and deliver transformation within their business.

Our programmes aim to catalyse partnerships, investment, and innovation to drive impact towards a new growth model.

About the winner

Indian start-up, TrashCon envisions a day when waste will be history. Unsegregated solid waste pollutes, land, water and air and generates greenhouse gases. It is a source of diseases such as cholera as well as directly impacting the health of the millions of waste pickers that manually sift rubbish.

TrashCon designed and developed state-of-the-art technology enabling municipal authorities to efficiently separate unsegregated municipal solid waste (nappies, sanitary pads, food waste, tins, glass) that would otherwise go to landfill or incineration. An automated system segregates waste into biodegradable and non-biodegradable components, converting biodegradable matter into bio-gas, fuel briquettes and compost, and recycling non-biodegradable waste into tiles and furniture products. The result is a complete, end-to-end, integrated zero waste system that generates alternative, healthier employment for local waste pickers.

TrashCon is part of the 2019 Leadership Vanguard acceleration programme.