Partnering With Tetra Pak in Dehradun



Used Beverage Cartons (UBCs) are a category of recyclable material that waste pickers do come across, but in the absence of a meaningful value chain and fair market rates – unlike PET bottles, cardboard, glass, metal etc. – these UBCs rarely leave the landfills.

In Uttarakhand, more than 600 Metric Tons (MT) of UBCs are generated each year. Due to the lack of a value-chain for its collection and recycling, all UBCs either go to trenching grounds, or are littered and burned, or are mixed and sold with lower-value waste categories. This further burdens landfills and downgrades the potential for higher rates of recycling.

If UBCs as a waste category are collected, baled, and transported for recycling, they have high potential to be converted into usable products, including long-lasting furniture, pen holders, diaries, frames, and other durable products.

To fill this gap and build a value-chain for the collection and recycling of UBCs, Tetra Pak India and Waste Warriors have partnered to implement such an initiative in Dehradun and adjoining cities.


Tetra Pak has a rich and distinguished heritage. They have built their brand on a commitment to innovation, customer focus, respect for the environment and social responsibility.​​​​​ Tetra Pak works to support the sustainable future of our planet and the long-term success of their customers, making direct contributions to 14 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development goals (SDGs). Across their three pillars of Food, People and Planet, they are working to help eliminate poverty, improve education and health outcomes, create better jobs and tackle key environmental challenges.




UN SDG 1 - No Poverty

Earlier, the collection of Used Beverage Cartons (UBCs) was very minimal but through this program we are engaging waste pickers, scrap dealers and aggregators to collect and sell these cartons directly to our Material Recovery Facility (MRF), offering them an additional category of income that supplements their daily earnings.

UN SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities & Communities

The collection & recycling of UBCs have resulted in diverting this waste category away from landfills to an authorized recycling facility. Our efforts are promoting participation from both waste picker communities and also residential communities in housing colonies. This level of community awareness and engagement is a vital step towards promoting sustainability amongst the general public.

UN SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption & Production

This program incorporates training of consumers on responsible consumption and the aggregation and recycling initiatives by Tetra Pak. Through our community outreach and awareness-raising sessions, we are building this sense of eco-consciousness and consumer responsibility amongst Dehradun citizens, who are becoming aware that these used cartons do have value and can be further processed.

UN SDG 13 - Climate Action

When waste is sent to overflowing landfills, or is being dumped and burned, the pollution causes harmful toxins to be released into the air. Through our awareness efforts on segregation and disposal habits, communities are becoming aware of the effects of burning or dumping of waste, including these cartons, on their health and the environment. This mitigation efforts are necessary to reduce overall pollution levels in cities.





Community Participants
Safai Saathis Engaged
Metric Tonnes Collected






After we source used beverage cartons (UBCs) from various places across Dehradun, Mussoorie, and Rishikesh, as well as from Safai Saathis and scrap dealers who are teaming up with us, the collected cartons come to our Swachhta Kendra, aka Material Recovery Facility, in Harrawala, Dehradun.

Here, our Green Workers sort the cartons based on size and type, as some may contain additional plastic items like caps and straws that can go in another waste stream. The sorted UBCs then get compressed in our baling machine to make large bales of UBCs.

Once we collect enough of these UBC bales, they are then loaded on to a truck, which is then sent to Tetra Pak's facility in Khatima, Uttarakhand. At this facility, these cartons are shredded and compressed to make compact boards.




Society stigmatizes Safai Sathis for the work they do, calling them waste or rag pickers, kude wale, etc.
Our program is working not only to develop systems for the correct disposal of waste but also to bring attention to the contribution of Safai Sathis. They are major contributors to the recycling value chain, and tons of waste would otherwise be left at open dumping sites, especially in and near forests, rivers, drains and even burnt on a large scale.


With this project, we aim to send as many tons of used beverage cartons for further processing and recycling, and also to provide an additional source of income to increase the daily living earned by Safai Sathis in and around Dehradun.

In the last one year we have surveyed and recognized many Safai Sathis and provided them with ID cards from the Municipal Corporation so that they are formally recognized for their work around the city. We are working with other organizations to improve their integration into a formal waste sector.