In a unique initiative, a colony in Hyderabad has got its own "recycled" bus stop, made entirely out of plastic bottles.
The bus shelter was built under the 'Recycle India' initiative by 'Bamboo House India', a Hyderabad-based company that builds houses out of bamboo.
Under the initiative, the company already recycles scrap like tyres and drums, to make seats and benches.
"We used 1,000 one litre bottles for the bus stop, and each bottle cost us Rs 1.40. The shelter is 8x4 feet, and the frame is made out of metal," Prashant Lingam, one of the founders of the company, told TNM.
"It all started when we realised that Hyderabad is short of bus shelters and contractors ask exorbitant rates, that run into lakhs. Our total cost was around Rs 15,000 and it was a 'knock-down' model, which can be removed, if necessary," he adds.
The bus shelter can be seen at street number 10 of Swaroopnagar colony in Uppal, and took just a little over two weeks to build.
To make the bus stop, two artisans drilled a longitudinal hole in the bottles, and ran a wire rope to tie them up with each other.
"Because there was a gap between the bottles, we noticed that air was flowing freely, and the shelter was not heating up. The next question is the lifespan of the shelter. We are estimating that if no one damages the bottles, it should last for a long time," says Prashant.
"We're also planning to add a few recycled tyres as seats for the shelter," he adds.
Prashant also emphasises that this bus stop is just a prototype to understand how the bottles bear the sun and the rain. He also says that the roofing was intentionally not done, for the same reason.
"The main reason for making the bus shelter this way, was to collect community feedback," he says.
The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has also shown interest in the initiative, and is holding talks with the company for seven pilot projects before the monsoon, to ensure that a bus shelter made of recycled material, can sustain all seasons of the year.
Additionally, For the bottles, Prashant and his team have decided not to buy the bottles anymore.
"Since we work with several engineering colleges, we have asked them to store their plastic bottles etc and give it to us for free, instead of disposing it. We will just have to take care of the transport cost," he says.
"We are getting a lot of positive feedback from locals in the area, who like the shelter, and we are looking at ways to better it. At the end of the day, it is about ensuring a greener future, while also giving the taxpayers a cost benefit," he adds.
The company's website can be found here.