Human Centred Design Thinking in Practice in Urban Waste Management: A Conference at UChicago Delhi Centre


Our Co-founder, Vasudha Mehta was one of the Speakers at “A Conference on HCD – Human Centered Design Thinking in Practice:Case Studies in Urban Waste Management” — which was held at the Uchicago Delhi Center and in line with the theme given to us, we shared with the audience, our story of setting up and scaling up JAAGRUTI Waste Paper Recycling Services across the three phases of adopting a Human Centered Design based approach – from INSPIRATION to IDEATION to IMPLEMENTATION.

As per

Human-centered design is a creative approach to problem solving . It’s a process that starts with the people you’re designing for and ends with new solutions that are tailor-made to suit their needs. Human centered design is all about building a deep empathy with the people you’re designing for; generating tons of ideas; building a bunch of prototypes; sharing what you’ve made with the people you’re designing for; and eventually putting your innovative new solution out in the world. Human-centered design is a process that can be used across industries and sectors to approach any number of challenges—from product and service design to space or systems design, to name just a few



Video: JAAGRUTI Waste Paper Recycling Services featured on an episode of “Dharti” on Green TV

Video: Ms. Vasudha Mehta, Co-founder of JAAGRUTI speaking at the FIIB Sustainability Summit 2013

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FIIB Sustainability Summit 21 Feb 2013 (3)

Our work with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation

Our work with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) was featured in the press nationwide recently. We have been working with DMRC since mid of 2015  and have been also engaged with confidential document destruction of their records. This photo above shows Vasudha Mehta, the Co-founder of JAAGRUTI Waste Paper Recycling Services handing over the Certificate of Recycling to the Controller of Stores at DMRC at an Environment Day related Function

Our work with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) was featured in the press nationwide recently. We have been working with DMRC since mid of 2015 and have been also engaged with confidential document destruction of their records. This photo above shows Miss. Vasudha Mehta, the Co-founder of JAAGRUTI Waste Paper Recycling Services handing over the Certificate of Recycling to the Controller of Stores (CoS) at DMRC at an Environment Day related Function and the DMRC Controller of Stores proudly displaying the Notepad made of recycled paper.

Our work with C&S Electric Limited

Our work with C&S Electric Ltd., a company which is amongst the leading suppliers of electrical equipment  in India and is India's largest exporter of industrial switchgear

Our work with C&S Electric Ltd., a company which is amongst the leading suppliers of electrical equipment in India and is India’s largest exporter of industrial switchgear. We have been working with all their Delhi-NCR based production plants to recycle their waste paper for many years now, as part of the company’s CSR initiative.

We were covered in ‘Publico’, a Spanish Publication

Our Work at JAAGRUTI Waste Paper Recycling Services was covered in a Spanish Publication named ‘Publico’.


The English Translation of the story is shared below:

Recyclable paper for recycled paper

Given the low rate of recovery of paper in India, a small company proposes to return recycled paper in exchange for collecting paper that would end up burned or in the trash.

DELHI.- A cargo van awaits at the doors of a school in downtown Delhi. It does not come to supply but to take away. Textbooks, notebooks or notebooks whose destination would be the common rubbish bin have a new place to go: direct to the recycling factory. In exchange for the delivery, their owners will receive notebooks and paper sheets already recycled. And everything, without any cost.

In a city like Delhi, where almost the entire population throws organic and inorganic waste to the same place, this idea is at least novel. “For each kilo of paper that the client gives us, we, according to a previously agreed conversion table, return a quantity of recycled paper . It is not an economic exchange, but of products. “, says Vasudha Mehta, co-founder of Jaagruti, the young company that makes this service.

“We have a blog where we wrote a post about paper recycling and, suddenly, he started contacting us people asking how we could help them recycle.”

The idea arose almost out of necessity. Just over four years ago, Jaagruti was already a charity that worked both in the field of helping street animals and in the creation of alternatives for solid waste management. “We have a blog where we wrote a post about recycling paper and, suddenly, he started contacting us with people asking how we could help them recycle. That’s when we saw that maybe there would be a business opportunity for us, “explains Vasudha.

A few months later the work began. In December 2011 they accepted their first orders. They work with institutions or established companies that accumulate immense amounts of paper that ended up either in the trash or, if it is confidential documents, burned in a backyard. Jaagruti designed a healthier, more sustainable alternative that is beneficial for the environment “and for which they also get something in return”, says Vivek Mehta, the other pillar of the company, while we accompany him to one of the collections.

Jaagruti is responsible only for large quantities (the minimum collection is 300 kilos) provided by companies or institutions. “There is already a sector, although informal and disorganized, that collects paper in the houses.Our objective is not to occupy the position of someone who is already making a living , but to reach where it has not yet arrived, “explains Vasudha.

It refers to the so-called ragpickers and khabari-walla : the collectors who go door to door picking up all kinds of garbage and make up the start of a network of buying and selling recyclable material. It is estimated that, thanks to them, India generates 1.3 million tons per year of paper ready for recycling . But due to the laxity of the rules, it is an informal sector that escapes control: the material is lost in an endless number of intermediaries.

Creating awareness

Before the school, the Mehta siblings and their five workers have been in a large publishing house. Going through the corridors Vasudha happily points out the posters hanging on the wall where the benefits of recycling are explained. “The first times we came here those posters were not there , she says proudly as she sees the changes their presence has brought.

They warn that it is not just about earning a living with this, but above all to sensitize the Indian society about the need to recycle. “People are not really aware that paper can be recycled and reused: you have the idea that someone will pick it up from the trash and it will. Even if you have an awareness, you are unwilling to make an effort and worry. “

But the change is noticed and in its four years of existence, Jaagruti already has more than 200 regular clients. Their website and word of mouth is what has worked for them. “It’s not about convincing anyone, it’s about creating in this system but above all in the need to recycle to reuse the paper.”

They emphasize the importance of paper quality for better recycling: it should not be dirty, nor wet and of course free of moths. From the place of origin it is transported to a small warehouse where it will be ordered according to the type of paper and will wait until it has enough quantity to transport it to the recycling factory.

The last step

Before the sun is too hot, the trucks are already loaded. A total of 12,855 tons of newsprint and magazines leave the Jaagruti warehouse, and link their way to the outskirts of the Indian capital, where the recycling factory depot is located. The benefit of the Mehta brothers lies precisely in the money they receive from the plant for the delivery of paper.

“In Delhi, due to the amount of water that this type of industry needs, paper recycling is not allowed,” explains Vasudha. So the role that Vivek and his team is delivering today in the warehouse will reach the state of Punjab, northwest of the country, where it will be recycled and returned to Jaagruti in the form of notebooks or paper to print.

It is estimated that there are 550 plants in India that use waste paper as raw material to produce recycled paper, cardboard and newspaper. The data are diffuse, but according to the latest available published by the Indian Association of Paper Producers (IPMA) in 2011 the paper recovery ratio in India was between 20 and 27%, a very low level if compared with Germany (73%), Japan (60%), Europe (56%) or the United States (49%).

It is estimated that the Indian recycling factories import 4 million tons of paper ready for recycling per year.

In the absence of its own material, it is estimated that Indian recycling factories import 4 million tons of paper ready for recycling per year, according to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. ” 80% of the paper we are dealing with comes from the United States, Europe and the Middle East,” confirms one of the workers at this recycling plant who prefers not to reveal his name.

The place does not stop arriving trucks that must go through the scales before being unloaded with patience by the group of men who work from sunrise to sunset . In about two weeks the Mehta brothers will receive the recycled paper they will return to their customers.

Do you need stronger laws in India that advocate recycling? Vasudha thinks a few seconds before answering that the responsibility is not only of the government but of Indian society as a whole. “It has been placed on the shoulders of the ragpickersthe job of separating recyclable products, the rest of the population disregarding that task, and that is because people have not yet understood that waste has value: recycling a product is saving on resources . 

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IP College teams up with Jaagruti for paper recycling initiative

IP College teams up with ‘Jaagruti Waste Paper Recycling Services’ for paper recycling initiative. – Click for full story

Story in DU Beat dated 11th January 2015

Delhi International Airport Limited’s (DIAL’s) Paper Recycling Initiative with ‘Jaagruti’ gets featured in the National Press

Delhi International Airport Limited’s Paper Recycling Initiative with ‘Jaagruti’ gets featured in the National Press on 2nd April, 2012

To read the Online version of this news story, please click here

Excerpt from this story is quoted below:

The Indira Gandhi International Airport here has initiated measures like using recycled papers at its premises in a bid to become a ‘green airport’. After putting in place some of the green initiatives like rainwater, use of natural lights and efforts to reduce emissions, the airport operator, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), has now decided to use recycled papers in its offices. For this, DIAL has entered into an agreement with an NGO ‘Jaagruti’, which will recycle the waste paper generated in its offices and get the notepads or A4 sheet made from the recycled paper.

 “The collected waste paper would be systematically graded and transported to the recycling mill. There it would be processed to make different quality of recycled paper by using Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF) bleaching technology,” a DIAL spokesperson said.

 This would save 17 trees, 26,281 litres of water, 264 kg of air pollution, 1,752 litres of oil, 4077 KW hours of energy, 82.62 cubic feet of landfill space, he claimed. As a part of the initiative, DIAL shared one tonne of paper waste for recycling to Jaagruti. “DIAL is committed to conducting its business in an environment-friendly and sustainable manner at IGI airport by minimising the impact of our activities on the environment and community. Environment Management is an integral part of our business strategy towards achieving credibility and business sustainability,” DIAL CEO I Prabhakar Rao said.

If you or the organisation you work with want to associate with ‘Jaagruti Waste Paper Recycling Services’ to recycle your waste paper, please contact us by calling us on +91-98101 91625 or writing to us on with a cc to

Paper Paper everywhere…

Paper products & everyday life

>This post is kind courtesy of

Many of us take for granted that paper allows us not only to enjoy our lives but also to go about our daily routines with greater efficiency.

From the thinnest tissue, to the most absorbent diaper, to the toughest corrugated box, there are almost as many different kinds of paper as there are uses for it.

Most of us begin our mornings by enjoying the comforts of paper products – from facial tissue and paper towels, to the morning newspaper, to the carton that holds your orange juice, and the paperboard packaging that holds your breakfast cereal.

Our children benefit from paper each school day from classroom drawings and notebook paper to text books that students learn from.

At work, office papers help us communicate. Even in this digital age, and despite talk about the “paperless office,” office papers are essential for copiers, laser printers, brochures, notepads, and other uses. And since digital documents can be deleted, there’s nothing like having a back-up on paper.

Wherever we go, paper is there to help at every turn. It’s the bags that hold your groceries or latest clothing purchase. It’s the cards, letters and packages you receive, the cup that holds your coffee, and the album that holds your memories.

Even while we sleep, paper is still hard at work providing a host of innovative paper products that help hospitals deliver cleaner, better patient care and protect healthcare personnel. Paper is at work in thousands of industrial and manufacturing applications helping keep the air clean, and providing protective apparel and innovative packaging.

When you consider the tremendous benefit of paper, it’s clear that we must all continue to work together by recycling used paper.

Recycling is easy to do and it’s good for business and the environment….and we at Jaagruti™ Waste Paper Recycling Services can help recycle your waste paper at no cost, if your organisation is based out of Delhi and NCR.

So next time you read the paper, open your mail, clean out your files, or empty a box, don’t put that paper and paperboard packaging in the trash. Complete the circle and recycle it.

Complete the circle by recycling your waste paper through us at ‘Jaagruti Waste Paper Recycling Services’


How to reduce and reuse paper?

Next time you waste paper, you may do well to remember that paper doesn’t grow on trees! 

But, about 17-22 full grown trees are cut to make 1 tonne of paper.

Paper usage is inevitable, we understand that because we also use paper, BUT you can help the environment by reusing paper. Reuse minimizes the amount of trash you produce and conserves precious natural resources.

Many everyday paper items can be reused and kept out of landfills:

  • Replace using tissue papers with handkerchiefs, why waste paper made out of trees, when you can use a piece of cloth that can be washed over and over again and reused..Think?
  • Save paper that has print on only one side. This paper can be reused in a variety of ways: for writing lists or notes, as drawing or coloring paper for children, for home printing that doesn’t need to be professional.
  • Save toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls. These can be used for school or home art projects. They can also be used for starting seeds.
  • Save tissue wrapping paper. It can be reused for wrapping another gift, as packing material, or for protecting Christmas ornaments for storage.
  • Save junk mail. It can be used to make lists, as scratch paper, for a child’s drawing.
  • Replace paper bags with cloth bags while you go shopping.

If you have some paper left that hasn’t been reused through some method above or has been used and re-used to the hilt and can’t be used or re-used anymore, don’t throw it away!

Recycle it and all your organisation’s waste paper by contacting us at ‘Jaagruti™ Waste Paper Recycling Services‘.

We do it for free and we do it to save many a tree!

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