Converting Wastes Into Biofuel and Electricity : An Inspiring Initiative Of Hyderabad Bowenpally Vegetable Market

Follow Us On

We have been taught the value of nature and environmental conservation since our childhood but how many of us has retained it and practice it in our daily life is all evident. Where the topic of sustainable development is boring and fails to draw the attention of most people, there are various environmental activists, journalists and even local people who collectively work to raise awareness. Some do it through social media by educating others while some bring it into their practice to make their surroundings aware of the grave reality. 

One such initiative was taken by Hyderabad Bowenpally market where tonnes of vegetable wastes is now being converted into biofuel and electricity which is used to light up the market’s kitchen and stalls which were once worthless and only added up to garbages and landfills. The plant was set up under the guidance of  Dr A Gangagni Rao, Chief Scientist of CSIR-IICT (Council Of Scientific And Industrial Research – Indian Institute Of Chemical Technology).

The waste collected by the mandi now is used to generate 500 units of electricity and 30 kgs of biofuels. This step was first taken six months ago. The electricity generated is used to power 120 street lights, 170 shops and a cold storage and the entire plant was built at a cost of Rs 3 crore according to the reports published in DNA.

Not only has this project helped in reducing the waste going to the landfills but has also reduced the  carbon dioxide emissions. The credit of it’s layout, design and execution goes to Ahuja Engineering Services, a company based out of Hyderabad


This market is the largest in the Secunderabad Cantonment area according to the report published in The News 18 and has approximately 150 vegetable vendors with their respective stalls selling tons of kgs of vegetables. Hence, the numbers are sufficient to tell how populous the market could be leading to a good quantity of waste generation. This initiative has not only helped the poor vendors light up the stalls but have made them cautious about the environment and how things can be converted into something productive. The market which earlier used to pay Rs 3 to 3.5 lakhs a month on the electricity charges has now come down to almost half

waste conservation

People in the market are supportive and have been contributing generously to this project. If the market is not able to generate the required amount of waste any day, people from nearby markets and local residents come with their household wastes. They consider this as a collective responsibility.

Not just this, the same waste is used to generate biogas which is an eco-friendly and economic substitute to the LPG cooking gas in the market making it the first-ever initiative taken by any vegetable market in Telangana told Lokni Srinivas, Bowenpally Selection Grade Secretary to The Indian Express.

Though there have been many biomethanation plants set up in India but this market’s set up is the largest of all which is catering needs of almost the entire market that is also in high capacity. “The research at CSIR-IICT began in 2006 to find ways to produce biogas from vegetable, fruit and food waste. By 2011, we had developed a patented-technology that was tested on a small scale at various farms and kitchens across India. We then re-engineered the method to make it more efficient so that it could handle the higher capacity of waste and eventually produce more energy.” says Dr Gangagni in an interview with The Better India.


How does it work? 

The process is known as Biomethanation which illustrates a process by which organic material is microbiologically converted under anaerobic conditions to biogas. Three main physiological groups of microorganisms are involved: fermenting bacteria, organic acid oxidizing bacteria, and methanogenic archaea.

The process carries on with tonnes of vegetable waste being put on conveyor belts that carry it to shredders. The shredded waste is then converted into a slurry and is put into large containers or pits to start the process of anaerobic digestion. Organic waste is eventually converted into biofuel, which has two major components, methane and carbon dioxide. 

The fuel is then put into ‘100 percent biogas generators’ that converts the fuel into electricity and reach the market’s electricity bulbs.

The initiative taken by Hyderabad’s vegetable market has given way to the New Atma Nirbhar Bharat and was appreciated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his podcast’s  “Mann Ki Baat” on January 31st – the reason for its indigenous nature, both the idea and the technology that went into it. “It was nice to learn about how a local sabzi mandi in Hyderabad’s Bowenpally is functioning responsibly. We have observed that in sabzi mandis, due to multiple reasons, vegetables rot spreading unhygienic conditions. However, Bowenpally Mandi decided that the leftover vegetables will not be allowed to rot. Traders at the mandi decided to produce electricity out of it,” PM Modi said in his speech. He even called this move “Waste to Wealth” encouraging more people to join in such initiatives. 

energy conservation

Something of which even visuals bring cringe to us, the garbage and other wastes coming from the vegetable markets, this market has changed the entire perception. Who thought that something which is considered dirty could light up a market and add up to the progress of development? Well, Efforts For Good , highly appreciate the move and promises to bring our readers more of such similar stories that will bring a smile to their face.

Love this story? Want to share a positive story?
Write to us: [email protected]
Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram

Let us know your thoughts on this story

It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote

Goonj Is Working With 1000’s Of Volunteers & Partner NGOs To Provide Covid-19 Relief In 18 States

Follow Us On

With the extension of the lockdown the crisis of migrant labourers and daily wagers has just grown bigger due to uncertainty and fear of future. In the migrant colonies, slums and for people in the villages hunger and desperation is building up day by day. This is high time we step up our efforts to support our people who are in dire need of food and hygiene essentials to survive the pandemic, Covid-19.

After the India-wide lockdown, a lot of jobless migrant workers are stuck in cities with hardly any resources while many started retreating back to their villages. With the loss of livelihoods, a large number of them are now struggling to support their families.

Goonj activated its pan India teams and a pan India network of partner organizations and volunteers in urban and rural India. This network, built over the last two decades, helps them learn from the ground, reach material quickly and review and adapt strategy periodically. Intensifying this network has helped Goonj reach and start work across 17produced states/UT in the last three weeks.

Goonj’s focus: 

Majority of the Covid-19 relief work by non profits right now is in the metros and cities but Goonj is the only non profit that is also simultaneously focusing on the people in the villages and the ones stuck on highways or somewhere.

Goonj is targeting daily wagers, migrants and other vulnerable groups, who even traditionally are left out like the disabled, sex workers, LGBTQ community.

“COVID-19 is a crisis, yes…But, it’s also an opportunity for us to build the society anew. Not ‘for’ the people…but, ‘with’ the people. And in the process, we will build ourselves too.” – Anshu Gupta, Founder-Director, Goonj.

Direct Monetary and Material Transfer

Wherever Goonj got the permission to open their centres for packing and disbursement of relief material kits, they are creating a kit consisting of 20-30 kgs material including dry rations, masks, sanitary pads and other hygiene material and reaching them to people, as per needs and as per regulations with all safety precautions. This kit will help a family survive for 30 days.

Information till 10th April 2020:

  • Distributed 15,100 ration kits reaching thousands of people
  • Reached 17,700 families
  • Supporting 12 community kitchen across India with 16,600kgs of ration
  • 77,800 food packets provided to migrant laborers and daily wagers walking on the roads across the country.
  • Provided direct financial support to 32 organisations
  • Made 42,800 cloth face masks
  • 24,900 cloth sanitary napkins produced
  • Produced 1500 litres of organic sanitiser

In Goonj’s processing centers its trained team of women are making cloth face masks and cloth sanitary pads (MY-Pads), keeping all the precautions and with the permission and cooperation of the local authorities.

In this lock-down phase if you are facing any difficulty getting sanitary pads or you are running out of stock, here’s a detailed but very simple process of making Cloth Pads at home created by Goonj. “This is how we make Goonj MY Pads.” This is how our mothers and grandmothers turned their spare cloth into pads.

This disaster, unlike any other, is unprecedented in its scale and impact and that’s why we all must do our bit with Goonj to continue its relief work for millions of people in this still unfolding long-tailed disaster.

The need is huge.. We are there.. Need You too !!

Let us know your thoughts on this story

It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote
Next Click right arrow to read the next story Previous