People who make scrap into something useful

12:16 PM Sep 24, 2022 | PTI |

Mangaluru: Two people from Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka have figured out how to make unusable scrap items lying scattered in our premises into reusable materials.


While a man from the port city uses worn-out tyres and alcohol bottles to convert them into attractive furniture and glass vases, a scrap dealer in Bantwal has set up a small library at his house with the books he got while running his business.

Ujwal Albert D’Cunha from Urwa here has learnt the magic art of transforming waste objects into something useful for the people, like furniture from discarded tyres.

D’Cunha, a Dubai returnee, has found an avenue for earning through this now. He had to leave the middle east nation after losing his job during the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, with his art of using waste items into useful articles, he has found a way to move on in life.


D’Cunha says usually worn-out tyres are either thrown away, dumped or burnt, which harms the environment. With stagnant water accumulating in these tyres during rainy days, such dumped waste becomes a breeding place for mosquitoes, which in turn results in the spread of diseases also.

D’Cunha then came up with the idea to convert the scrap tyres into furniture.

After reading about recycling of used tyres into furniture on social media, he first made three tyre chairs with ropes that were delivered to Camp Alpha, the campground in Chikkamagaluru.

Encouraged by the positive response, he later made use of his own brand-new concepts to make the tyre chairs look more attractive by using cushions, sponge and clothing designs to beautify them.

Besides the tyre furniture, he also turns abandoned alcohol bottles into ashtray, tumblers and flower vases. He also possesses the craft for making hanging light, night table lamp and paper light using yarn and wool, which can be used during festive occasions.

While people throw out alcohol bottles or sell them to scrap dealers, D’Cunha had different ideas. The waste bottles are converted into glass tumblers, ashtrays and flower vases through his hands. He minces the sharp edges of the bottles to give a smooth finish to the product.

He also collects pallets, normally used for storage and transportation, and recycles them into furniture.

D’Cunha uses his craft also to make night table lamps, hanging light fixtures and pendant lamps with the help of yarn and cotton threads which people use for decorative lighting during festivities.

For Ismail Kannathur, a 50-year-old scrap dealer from Bantwal taluk in Dakshina Kannada district, there is a different story to tell. He has set up a small library at his residence with the books he collected while running his business.

All these books were collected from the scrap while running his scrap shop at Hoovakuvakallu in Balepuni village in Bantwal. He has come to learn through experience that what is scrap for someone is useful for others, especially in the case of books.

Ismail had gone to school only up to the first standard. However, he knows the value of education and kept the books he got from scrap in the last 25 years for the use of those who come in search of them.

Ismail, who is also a social worker who helps people with his earnings, says he had collected several good books which he used to give to the people who come to him. More than 2,000 books had been given away like this.

Though he does not take any money from them, some of them pay him for the books they get from the shop. Many books have been given free of cost to teachers and students.

Ismail proudly says that he has educated his five children as he knows the value of knowledge in life, having stopped learning at an early age.

A man who had seen his collection motivated him to set up the library with the available books. The books have now been arranged in wooden shelves at his residence from where the public can borrow them.

Ismail, who is also active in cleanliness drives in the area, has also taken up many social causes to help the needy, according to the local people.


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