The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has opened a Give and Share Kiosk right opposite the Oracle office in Shilparamam. It’s an eco-friendly booth made of recycled pet bottles, while the collection bins inside are made of old oil drums and used tyres. At the centre, citizens can donate anything from books to clothes to furniture and the needy can pick whatever they wish to.
The initiative started as a Wall of Kindness, where donation boxes were placed against a wall. The donated goods were left in the open and began getting spoilt and soiled. Hence, Harichandana Dasari, the commissioner of the GHMC, Serlingampally zone, decided to set up an enclosed eco-friendly kiosk.
“They approached us, and we constructed the centre as well as placed collection bins, all made out of recycled material”, says Prashant Lingam, co-founder of Recycled India and Bamboo House India.
This collection centre conveys two important messages; one is to ‘share’, and the other is ‘reuse and recycle’.
Prashant Lingam and his wife Aruna Kappagantula founded Bamboo House India in 2008 – a social venture that promotes the construction of buildings with bamboo. A few years later they experimented with pet bottle constructions. Using recycled pet bottles they are still making bus shelters and tree guards in various parts of the city of Hyderabad.
Shortly after Bamboo House, they co-founded Recycled India, another social enterprise that addresses the issue of the irresponsible methods of discarding tyres and oil drums.
“We came across a scrap dealer burning discarded tyres, a couple of years ago. When we questioned him about it, we found out that there was no other solution to dispose off discarded tyres. We were interested to find a solution for this. We decided to reuse old tyres to make furniture and other useful products,” continues Prashant.
Along with recycling tyres, they took on recycling discarded oil drums too.
Often dumped in streams and landfills, old tyres and oil drums not only pollute, but also occupy a lot of space. Stagnant water which collects in these discarded items is the best breeding ground for mosquitoes. People in the municipality had no solution to this issue, and it seemed like nobody had ever given recycling these items a thought.
Prashant and Aruna realized that reusing discarded tyres and oil drums is important and they decided to do their bit in their city, Hyderabad. They first started collecting these waste items in an efficient, environmentally sound and socially responsible manner. The next step was to make use of these articles to make something useful. Furniture was the first idea that came to them.
Furniture made from both recycled tyres and recycled oil drums are eye-catching, cost-effective and eco-friendly.
“Apart from furniture we are working to develop bags, slippers, pots, baskets, trunks, mirrors, planters, belts, buckets and what all possible we can make with scrap tyres and drums,” adds Prashant.
Things like planters, dustbins and storage bins are rather easy to make, they say. Tyres need to be cut, a few holes made with a drill machine and finally nuts & bolts fixed at the right places to keep the pieces in place. They are available at a reasonable price, and if painted well, look great in any setting.
The couple is trying to convince the municipal authorities that discarded old tyres and drums can be converted into furniture and planters for offices and parks.
The furniture made of recycled tyres is resistant to all kinds of weather changes and can be used outdoors as well. For most of the products made with recycled tyres and drums, longevity is guaranteed. Except for repainting the external portion at regular intervals, other costs to maintain it are few and far between.
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About the author – Aparna Menon is a freelance writer, who has been writing for various newspapers for the last 10 years. Her fields of interest are wildlife, heritage and history. A keen traveller, she loves to read, write and does a lot of art work too.