Homes through Recycling

Have you ever wondered about the silver space-age structure next to Chhipa at the Submarine Chowk in Karachi? I pass by there often and finally decided to check it out. It is run by Gul Bahao NGO. They are using donations of all dry trash to build homes! INCLUDING Tetra Paks! I have long wondered where to recycle the many juice and milk tetra paks that my household throws away, Gul Bahao says they are perfect for the work they do!

Shirin Halai recently started a commendable effort in recycling for charity. So if Bath Island is a more convenient place for you to drop your recyclables, please send me a message and I’ll put you in touch. Shirin has really inspired me, she’s taught me that every scrap of paper – including store receipts and the cardboard box from a tube of toothpaste or the toilet roll core – can be recycled. Keep a cardboard ‘bin’ and toss these scraps in, I bet you’ll be surprised how much you come up with. She has already donated to various charities, including ABSA (, school for the hearing impaired. A donation was made of three sets of digital hearing aids for needy children. Just look at what recycling can do! Rightly, Shireen has been nominated at AZM Awards 2012

HyperStar – and if you’re from Karachi then you’ve heard of HyperStar – is selling quite large reusable shopping bags for just 89 Rs.! They are very roomy, sturdy bags that fold up to be tucked into your purse. Thus my cupboards are no longer bursting with plastic bags.

We already compost at our house, so between the recycling and the composting, our trash has greatly reduced. I encourage you all to join the club and increase your own recycling… working together toward a better environment.


About Amarah Makhdumi

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8 Responses to Homes through Recycling

  1. Munira says:

    Yup, been ‘donating’ my trash to Shireen for the last few months 🙂 It really is surprising to see just how much waste we generate….I’m just glad it’s all being put to such great use!

    • amarahm says:

      That’s wonderful!
      Hey! I’m thinking we must have crossed paths at the tea recently? It’s a small world no matter how you slice it. 🙂

      • Munira says:

        I love it! My trash was being channelled through my sister, so I was an anonymous donor till recently 🙂 But you might have seen two of my sisters there at the last tea 🙂

  2. amarahm says:

    We are certain to meet soon. Really amazing if you think about it!

  3. Sakina says:

    im a architecture student, and i use a lot of paper! and so do my friends, and my department and architectural firms!
    i would love to gather everyone and make them recycle the paper we use! if you could please give me the contact of anybody to contact, as to where to drop this huge amounts of paper it’s be great!

    • amarahm says:

      Hi Sakina,
      Gul Bahao was still collecting last I heard. Their contacts were in the post: ‘Where’d that Silver House Go?’ Otherwise I’ll try to put you in contact with other recyclers in Karachi. Meanwhile, collecting and selling it at your gate also raises money while recycling. A box for cardboard and one for paper and a stack of newspapers works well to collect until the paper walla comes around.

      Good luck to you!

  4. Mona Alam Sheikh says:

    Hi mona sheikh here, I am constantly collecting plastic bags -all sorts of paper -tins- bottles and never know where to dispose of all this , give it mostly to the kabar who throws my plastic bags on the road. please give me Shireen halai’s address so I can deliver it to her house in bath Island. thenk you

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