Hyderabad: Hyderabadis’ love for culinary delights has increased over the years, with a special liking for street food. With the Ramzan month, the city’s foodies inevitably gravitate towards Charminar every evening to partake of the variety of food options available. Just the Charminar zone generates over 40 metric tonnes of waste in addition to the existing quantum during Ramzan. A large part of this waste is generated by vendors selling fruits and other street food.
“Street vendors put up their stalls close to the iftaar tents. Half-finished food like biryani, fruit peels and cores, packaging and plastic cutlery often discarded on the roadside. Although the food waste is not too huge, it is enough to attract stray dogs,” said Hassan Ali, from Santhosh Nagar.
Also since the holy month of Ramzan is all about giving, there are many who sponsor meals to the underprivileged and those living near mosques. Some distribute food packets every day and not just on Fridays. There are several youth groups that set up stalls on the main road, providing free soft drinks and fruits. There is no specific centre of waste management, however, to analyse the daily amount of waste generated.
“We have observed that people mostly discard half-finished food packets, which go into rubbish bins, along with styrofoam and plastic”, said Mr Ahmed Aleem of Tolichowki. Food waste creates methane, a greenhouse gas that adversely affects the environment, studies have proven.
When asked about the possibility of turning the waste into manure through composting pits, the south zone Municipal Commissioner, Mr Srinivas Reddy said, “We are running out of space, if anyone is ready to provide space within the zone, composting pits can be created.”...