While the traditional formula of cutting down on the amount of waste has been restricted to 3 ‘R’s (reduce, reuse and recycle), Tyre Treasures, a two-year-old startup company run by two young women, goes one step ahead and exemplifies what ‘upcycling’ means in the Kathmandu context.
Tyre Treasures is a company that produces indoor and outdoor furniture out of abandoned and thrown away tyres–of two-wheelers, four-wheelers, heavy vehicles and even aeroplanes. Out of the trash, the company has provided a unique set of furniture items to the customers who want value for money in the products they use.
When Ojaswi Baidya and Loonibha Manandhar competed in a green entrepreneurship competition three years ago, the two had different ideas in their minds. Baidya was planning to lobby for the better management of street animals whereas Tuladhar had a proposal on recycling tiles. But when they worked in a team for 10 days, they developed a completely new idea, making furniture and decor items from the tyres.
“There were many people already working about reducing and managing plastic and paper wastes. Then we searched for other options which were parts of our landfill and found tyres to be the most suitable ones,” Baidya remembers, “Our subsequent research validated the idea because the number of vehicles was increasing in Kathmandu Valley every year.”