Recycle India finds a solution to dangerous waste materials

Recycle India turns oil drums and tyres into furniture.

Recycle India is a new social venture, founded in 2015 by Aruna Kappagantula and her husband, Prishant Lingam. They started the initiative in order to address the large quantity of oil drums and tyres polluting India's streets. These items are either dumped or burnt with other discarded garbage. Part of the problem is that there are no proper disposal channels for this kind of material.

The Recycle India project upcycles these waste materials by repurposing and redesigning them into indoor and outdoor furniture. The designs are highly practical since the materials used to make them are durable, weatherproof and inexpensive. The money generated through the sale of the items goes into designing practical uses for other recyclable materials. Recycle India also trains workmen to craft these materials and is creating awareness around the safe disposal of these materials.

This work is important since the improper disposal of these materials are harmful to both humans and the environment. Discarded tyres, in particular, are dangerous because their hollowed out shape easily retains stagnant water, becoming the ideal breeding ground for disease-carrying insects such as mosquitos. If they are disposed of through open incineration, the fumes released are laden with toxic compounds which are deadly pollutants.

People have shown a lot of interest in the couple’s work, particularly the local government, who are thankful for a safe, productive solution to their waste management issues. Kappagantula and Lingam previously initiated a similar endeavour in the form of Bamboo House India, which promotes the use of bamboo as an eco-friendly substitute for other woods/timber. Both ventures are aimed at preserving the environment, and the generation of job opportunities and the employment of local artisans in rural and tribal communities.

Recycle India began in collaboration with the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC). The municipality provides all of the scrap from the local Kavadiguda dump, which has supplied more than 150 tyres and 50 drums for the pilot initiative to furnish the area's numerous parks.