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Social entrepreneur from Gujarat designs P-block bricks made out of waste produced by paper mills used to make toilets and roads

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With a dream of making the world’s cheapest house and turning the fate of the slums in India in an eco-friendly way, an innovator and social entrepreneur from Gujarat, Binish Desai started his Swachh journey when he was just 11 years old. Today, 23-years old Binish Desai has successfully built more than 1,000 toilets across India and benefitted around 3,000 people. What’s outstanding is that, this waste warrior has done all this by recycling and using industrial waste and other waste which otherwise would have made its way into our already overfilled landfills.

Binish Desai has designed P-block bricks made out of waste produced by paper mills and is changing the destiny of rural villages one by one by creating sustainable infrastructure like toilets and roads using his patented technology.

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is simply not confined to ‘not littering and clean-ups of the roads.’ In India, there are tonnes of industrial waste and other types of waste which is produced on a regular basis. And every day a major portion of all this waste ends up going to the landfills. The aim of the country is to fulfill the dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Gandhiji by 2019 and it will only be possible when all the waste created or generated by us will be used in a sustainable way rather than being dumped straight into the landfills. My aim is find solutions for recycling waste so as to make sustainable building material from it, says Binish Desai.

Binish Desai’s Waste Secrets
Binish designed the first sample of these bricks at a mere age of 11 and since then there was no looking back. Today, with his innovative methods he has recycled more than 400 tonnes of industrial waste.

I was a student of class 6 when I found out that a chewing gum when mixed with paper can become into a really thick and tough block. That’s when it triggered me that I can experiment a bit more and find out sustainable solutions for building houses for rural people as that is my ultimate dream, said Binish.

Explaining his innovation he added, “It was an accident that proved to be a game changer for me – I found a chewing gum stuck onto my pants, since I was in the classroom, I just took a piece of paper, wrapped the gum in it and put it aside so as I can throw it away later. As soon as my class got over, I found out that the gum and paper are glued together and has turned into a material that is tough and thick and this only gave me the idea of designing a brick using chewing gum and paper.”

Later, after experimenting with his idea, he replaced the chewing gum with a better organic binder and refined the process and kick-started his own company name BDream. At an age of 16, Binish had a patent for his innovative technology and his company was collaborating with other companies and NGOs to take up projects for the construction of toilets in rural areas, under corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Even before the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan kicked in, I started building toilets for rural people so that they can get their most basic right – a toilet. Initially I wanted to make houses for them, but when I found out that many people are deprived of something as basic necessity as toilets, I thought, why don’t I start with building toilets first, said Binish.

Innovation That Is Changing Lives
Till now, the company has completed constructing over 1,000 toilets in rural areas across Gujarat, Pali in Maharashtra and Hyderabad. Talking about the many benefits of the bricks – P-blocks are not only eco-friendly but also cost effective, pest resistant, fire retardant, suitable for earthquake-prone regions,  and they have a higher compressive strength. What’s great, they can also be used as a substitute of wood, cement and concrete.

 I got a toilet made 2 years ago for Rs. 10,000 which was funded by an NGO so that I can enjoy my basic rights by using a toilet. The toilet made out of these unique bricks is tough and spacious. Over the last two years, apart from yearly maintenance and colouring, I have done nothing. So, grateful for such innovations that are slowly changing lives, said Rita Rathore, a single mother and a domestic helper who got a toilet made at her place using these innovative bricks.

Apart from the villagers, the toilets have garnered appreciation from industrialists as well,

We have given around 2 tonnes of fibre waste to Binish so that he can use it and make something sustainable out of it. The company has already showed us a prototype of insulation panels that they plan to make out of the waste we have provided but it is still under experiments and Binish and team is trying to find out viable solutions for it to turn into a commercial worthwhile product. Earlier, as a company we used to find it difficult to dispose our industrial waste and as a result it used to end up proving hazardous for the environment, but thanks to waste warriors like Binish, we have found a solution for our waste woes that can benefit the environment instead of hurting it, added A.A Bambardekar, Work Director of Raymond Ltd. Vapi.

The Process

[Image: Trash To Toilets: At 11 He Came Up With The Idea Of Making Bricks From Waste. At 23, He Is Making It A Reality]  
The P-bricks are made by the hand press method, using mostly paper muck. Conventionally, this sludge has no other use and is sold by paper mills for landfill use. According to the survey done by the company and Binish roughly 200 tonnes of paper waste is generated overall from paper mills in Valsad district in Gujarat daily. And roughly 3 tonnes of textile waste is generated from textile plants in form of sludges.

The key ingredient used in making P-Blocks bricks comes from the specially formulated gum base using the industrial waste, which then binds the brick together and gives high durability.

Towards A Swachh Future

Apart from paper industry waste, Binish is also experimenting with gypsum waste, metal waste, textile waste, and various types of secondary paper waste such as sludge from cardboard and craft paper.

He is also educating colleges and school students and guiding them on the importance of waste management in India. Binish has also designed a special waste management course for students in which students can find innovative ways in dealing with waste products. One of his students is currently working on to create a black board using human hair waste.

It is very important for the students to learn the importance of waste management, if they do it right, then our future is bright. I am also planning to set up a research facility lab in Gujarat where together with the help of young innovators I will be finding innovative solutions for recycling Industrial waste, added Binish.

Till now, Binish has designed products like artificial wood that can be used for flooring or home décor purposes and is made from waste like textile waste, paper waste and plastic waste and paver blocks that are used to build pavements across the roads which are crafted from metal, construction and demolition waste.

The waste crusader who plans to find innovative and creative ways to recycle industrial waste in India.

Nothing is useless in this world. Whatever is useless to you can be someone else’s asset. As an individual, making India clean is our responsibility, I am doing my bit for our planet by finding solutions for recycling. You should do yours by understanding the importance of waste management. Imagine if a small industry like mine can save upto 400 tonnes of waste then if all the efforts are combined how much waste we will be saving.

Author: sustainabilityoutlook