Sustainable Design
"KABAARIWALA" A crucial actor of sustainable development
“Sustainable development” with economic growth are patterns of development and consumption which have closed-loop, self-regenerating processes of production that feed back into and renew themselves, rather than open-loop, linear ones in which finite resources are used without respect to renewal.

One such example of an informal, sustainable practice that has emerged from this value of thrift is the kabaari industry, a closed-loop system of solid waste recycling.

"Waste pickers" sort through discarded waste to extract materials that can be reused or resold.
Itinerant collectors (“kabaariwala”) buy old or broken materials from consumers.
Both waste pickers and itinerant collectors sell their materials for a higher price to lower level neighbourhood kabaari “hubs”, which then transfer the materials to “upper level kabaaris”. The upper-level kabaaris sort the materials for sale either to repair-persons, who resell their refurbished goods at kabaari bazaars, or to reprocessors, who reprocess materials in the kabaari’s booty by melting down copper wires from old circuitry, granulating plastic, or turning paper into pulp that is converted to recycled paper. The reprocessors sell their metal, plastic, and paper back to industry and manufacturers to reuse in new products, which find their way back into the hands of consumers; and the cycle continues.

The informal kabaari industry is a sustainable, cyclical system. The material that is sold to the itinerant collectors returns to the market in a different, usable form.

The industry reprocesses or reuses materials that would otherwise wind up in landfills, returning discarded materials to the market, effectively saving carbon space. The informal recycling sector in Delhi alone accounts for “greenhouse gas reductions of 9,62,133 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year”

Urban planning can take hints from these sorts of informal processes. Smaller scale, informal entrepreneurs such as kabaarivalas, for example, can be integrated into formal solid waste management programmes. Models bridging formal and informal activity would help our Municipal Corporations in Metro Cities & in million plus cities to systematically solve the solid waste problem simultaneously will help in reduction of greenhouse gases.
Naaznin Lalani
"KABAARIWALA" A crucial actor of sustainable development
The kabaari industry, a closed-loop system of solid waste recycling is an excellent means of utilizing waste. Is this industry located within the settlement/community? Is this an actual building? Sorry if this question seems stupid but conducting research on possible solutions in order to develop a sustainable and resilient community. Currently, researching what is called squatter settlements or as Robert Neuwirth titles 'Shadow Cities'.

Glenda Harrison, M.Ed., M.A.
Glenda Harrison
"KABAARIWALA" A crucial actor of sustainable development
"Sustainable living" is not a brand new idea because up to the very recent present it was natural and normal for people to repair and recycle things.

But with the modern introduction of "built-in obsolesence" into mass-produced goods means that it is no longer possible to repair because these things are so cheap and nasty they have to be thrown away as being BER (Beyond Economic Repair) even if the fault is very small.

For example, when the transparent housing of a light on a car is cracked, the whole assembly has to be thrown away and replaced with a complete new assembly. And this extremely wasteful method is now so normal that most manufacturers make most of their money from selling (replacement) spare parts.
Frank John Snelling


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