All I wanted while growing up was to become an engineer and make a difference to my country.
Upon receiving my Master of Science from Stanford University, USA, I returned to Mumbai, India. At first, I began working my father’s company and did not know when or how I would make that ‘difference’. It was only when I had my younger daughter and she started experiencing repeated bouts of cough that I became acutely conscious of our deteriorating environment.
I reached the peak of frustration when I visited my farm house in Umbergao, Gujarat, the one place that used to be so clean and green, now had piles of waste and pollution. I had no place left to escape, I had to start somewhere!
I decided to make our home greener and learn how to prepare compost from my household waste; turns out, I could grow a melon from my very own window grill using my first batch of GreenGold compost!
I was excited to see the magic of nature and that was when the idea struck. If just a little recycling could give me so much, imagine if we all recycled more…that was when the seed was sown and ‘RUR: Are you Reducing, Reusing, Recycling?’ was born.
Soon, many young mothers from my kid’s school joined me to form an enthusiastic core team committed to practice green living and spread awareness about the same. We became a grassroots group. Our approach toward consumption had a ‘cradle-to-cradle’ approach, as opposed to the ‘cradle-to-grave’ one. That means, every time we consume, we think about the end of life of that consumption.
We asked ourselves, “Can we put it back into use or do we just have to trash it? Can we move from disposable and non-degradable items and toward reusable and biodegradable ones?”
Our field trip to Deonar landfill, the largest in Asia, was the biggest eye-opener. Trekking up the piles of waste with our noses choked, watching the big green BMC dump-trucks dotting the landfill was a shocking wake-up call. We knew in our hearts that RUR had a lot to do and miles to go.
As I delved more into waste streams, I realised that we had to find a solution to recycle all our waste in a decentralised manner. I wanted to make recycling easy for people, for which we needed simple, innovative, attractive solutions to recycle bio-degradable waste at source and tie-up with vendors for dry recyclable waste, thus reducing the total amount of waste being dumped in landfills. In 2010, I applied for the Unltd Mentor program and was honoured to become a part of the Unltd Family where our vision manifested to achieve greater greener goals with support from empowering mentors. Under their guidance, we decided to register RUR Greenlife as a socio-environmental enterprise with a vision to spread eco-consciousness among citizens and help them contribute to our planet by adopting the 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
While working on waste recycling, I realized there was a gap in technologies to make the recycling process easy and efficient for people to adopt. Focusing on research and design, I have designed an in-vessel aerobic bio-composter technology, driven by sustainability and circular economy that can replicate the natural process of recycling. The aerobic composting in RUR’s Green Gold Aerobic Biocomposter recycles kitchen waste into nutrient-rich organic compost at source (patent filed -#201621007373).
Our mission drives margin and we annually recycle over 400 tons of kitchen bio-waste and horticultural leaves through over 55 decentralized sustainable waste management sites. We help mitigate more than 3000 kg of CO2 emission by minimizing transport of waste from the source to the landfill. Adding another feather to our cap, in 2018 our concept of decentralized, sustainable and holistic waste management system was appreciated by Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA); earning us an excellence award in composting category. International recognition is indeed inspiring for us to work more for the greater greener tomorrow.
We focused on dry recyclables next; and in 2010 partnered with Tetra Pak India, under their EPR and CSR program to maximize awareness and recycling of empty Tetra Pak cartons. Along with Sahakari Bhandar and Reliance Fresh, a unique collaborative was launched on 5 June 2010, to coincide with World Environment Day. Special collection bins made from recycled Tetra Pak cartons were placed across stores in Mumbai. Since its inception, the program has successfully recycled over 32 lakh used Tetra Pak cartons till date.
We are committed to care for the environment and would love to have you be a part of the recycling revolution with us.
Founder and CEO
RUR GreenLife Pvt Ltd.