Hyderabad, a bustling metropolis and one of India’s fastest-growing cities, is an example of a city that is experiencing rapid growth while managing an array of environmental issues. Hyderabad is striving to address waste management, rainwater harvesting, wastewater recycling, solar energy, and energy conservation.
Earth5R Community Action in Hyderabad
Citizens of Hyderabad are using the Earth5R App to learn about environmental issues and for taking actions on those issues.The role of individual action and increased public consciousness in addressing environmental problems cannot be overstated.
The Earth5R app simplifies complex environmental information, facilitating citizen volunteer like like Vishwak Sen, a college student who is currently doing remote environmental internship with Earth5R, to comprehend their local ecological status and take action.
The Action and Research Survey
Here’s the impact Earth5R community member Vishwak Sen made using the Earth5R app in his area:
- Personal Sustainability Survey: Vishwak completed this survey and discovered that his personal sustainability practices were 61% in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. He advocates for more people to take the survey and understand their own scores.
- Responsible Consumption and Production: Vishwak conducted waste cleanup and collected 1005 pieces of waste for audit and scientific analysis at Yousufguda, Hyderabad. The waste comprised various types, including multilayer packaging, tetra packs, synthetic fibers, LDPE, PET, HDPE, glass, medical waste, organic materials, electronic waste, and others:
- Multilayer Packaging: In Made up 17% of waste, a challenge due to the complex layering of materials.
- Tetra Packs: Constituted 8%, not easily recyclable due to the multi-material composition.
- Synthetic Fibers: Made up 16%, mostly non-degradable and commonly found in clothing and textiles.
- LDPE: Made up 20%, used for packaging and plastic bags. It’s recyclable but requires proper disposal.
- PET: Represented 4%, commonly used in drink bottles and food packaging, widely recycled.
- HDPE: Made up 1%, used in heavier-duty plastic items, recyclable but needs proper segregation.
- Glass, Medical Waste, Organic, Electronic Waste, and Others: Combined, they made up 31%. Each type of waste has unique challenges and pathways for disposal and recycling.
- Tree Density in Banjara Hills, Hyderabad:
Earth5R’s community member Vishwak Sen’s study underlines tree count in Hyderabad.
- He found 187 trees in the stretch of 1km Banjara Hills which is quite high compared to other areas of the city and other cities. As per a report by Times of India, greenery increased to 48.66 sqkm, i.e., from 33.15 sq km in 2011 to 81.81 sq km in 2021. Metro cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru saw very less rise 9%, 11% and 26% respectively. Trees in Metro city like Hyderabad have a positive impact on air quality.
- Deforestation and Desertification: During a 1-kilometre walk at Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, Vishwak counted 187 trees, underlining the importance of tree conservation and the fight against deforestation.
- Energy Conservation: Vishwak conducted a Light and Energy Conservation Study at a small shop in Banjara Hills, Hyderabad. He discovered that the shop lacked natural lighting, signifying a major area for energy conservation.
- Waste Management: In his Waste Hotspot Survey in Yousufguda, Hyderabad, Vishwak found 5 waste hotspots within a kilometre. This points out the urgent need for enhanced waste management practices.
- Environmental Pollution: Vishwak carried out a Noise Pollution Survey near Yousufguda, Hyderabad, in a commercial zone. The recorded maximum decibel level was 89, with an average of 76 decibels, which is above the acceptable limit for commercial areas.
- Ecosystem and Biodiversity: Vishwak executed a Water Ecosystem Survey at a pond in Banjara Hills, Hyderabad. He observed the green colour of the pond and the bubbly foam, indicating the presence of chemical pollution. He also found PET bottles scattered around the water body.
- Circular Economy Training: Vishwak conducted a Circular Economy Training in Yousufguda, Hyderabad, and trained 3 people about the principles of a circular economy.
Earth5R’s provides Recognition to the volunteers and interns for Sustainability action
The Key Sustainability Issues
Waste Management in Hyderabad
In recent years, Hyderabad has faced a mounting problem of solid waste management. In 2020, the city was generating around 5,500 to 6,000 metric tonnes of waste daily1. The city’s rapid urbanization and population growth have contributed to increasing amounts of waste.
However, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has started taking measures to curb this issue by introducing measures such as the ‘Zero Waste’ initiative2. This initiative encourages segregation of waste at the source and aims to convert wet waste into compost and recycle dry waste effectively.
Solid Waste in Hyderabad
As per NEERI research (National Environmental Engineering Research Institute) with 0.57 kg of waste per person per day, Hyderabad is the place with the most waste. In a study paper by Kalpana Markandey of Osmania University, she says that there are differences between areas based on family size, location, socioeconomic factors, monthly income, and other factors.
Rainwater Harvesting in Hyderabad
In terms of rainwater harvesting, Hyderabad has been taking steps to capitalize on the ample rainfall it receives during monsoon seasons. As per the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB), it has made rainwater harvesting pits compulsory for new buildings3. These efforts have been complemented by numerous NGO-led initiatives that encourage the creation and upkeep of rainwater harvesting pits in residential areas.
Wastewater Recycling in Hyderabad
Wastewater recycling is another area where Hyderabad is making progress. The city generates about 1600 MLD (Million Liters per Day) of wastewater4. In recent years, initiatives have been taken to treat and recycle wastewater for non-potable uses, such as in construction, washing, and irrigation. For instance, the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply & Sewerage Board operates around 20 Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) across the city with a combined capacity of around 735 MLD4.
Solar Energy in Hyderabad
Hyderabad has also taken significant strides in the domain of solar energy. The Telangana State Renewable Energy Development Corporation Ltd (TSREDCO) has been actively promoting the usage of solar energy in the city5. It has introduced various schemes that encourage both individuals and businesses to install solar panels.
Overall Energy Conservation in Hyderabad
Energy conservation is a critical concern for a growing city like Hyderabad. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), along with the State Energy Conservation Mission (SECM), Telangana, has launched several initiatives to raise awareness and implement energy-saving measures across various sectors.
Furthermore, the GHMC has replaced over 4 lakh conventional streetlights with energy-efficient LED lights, leading to significant energy savings.
Hyderabad, despite facing multiple environmental challenges brought about by rapid urbanization, is actively taking steps to mitigate these issues. From solid waste management to renewable energy adoption, the city is showing that economic growth and sustainability are not mutually exclusive but can be pursued in tandem.
Volunteer and Intern with Earth5R Community to restore the ecosystem
It’s each citizen’s participation that can fuel a significant shift in how societies view and interact with nature, turning environmental preservation from an abstract concept into a tangible reality, fostering sustainable behaviours, and ensuring a greener and more resilient future for everyone.
Earth5R is more than an app; it’s a medium for users to effect real, tangible change in their local environment. Change starts with you, and Earth5R equips you with the knowledge and tools needed to drive that change.
Join the Earth5R mission for sustainable action recognition and make a difference in your area’s cleanliness and health through the app’s environmental internships and volunteering opportunities.
Get the Earth5R app and be part of the Sustainability Revolution.
Get the latest version from:
Android Playstore – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.app.earth5r&hl=en_GB&gl=IN
iPhone AppStore- https://apps.apple.com/in/app/earth5r/id6444099514