RECYCLING OF PLASTIC WASTES
edumgandam a small village, panchayat run, in Idukki District, Kerala, teaches a lesson in trash/waste management, which could benefit whole of India. According to Manorama Online, a Kerala base publication, the village panchayat sold 4136.83 kg of recycled plastic waste for Rs.62,472/- to The Clean Kerala Company, an initiative by the State Government. So far the stock at the panchayat reportedly has 10,000 kg of plastic waste and 3,000 kg of organic fertiliser for sale. Women employed through the State Government’s KUDUMBASREE, initiative go to each household, school, hospital to collect plastic waste and other non-biodegradable waste.
Once the wastes are collected, they reach the local panchayat, then recycles the plastic which is then sold to The Clean Kerala Company. Following this the Clean Kerala Company sells these recycled plastic at a reasonable price to both the public works department and private companies who manufacture bitumen, which is used for construction of roads in villages. Now attempts are being made, to strengthen the collection process with greater cooperation from the panchayat office.
At the waste processing plant, the village panchayat has also received permission from the state government to install a biogas unit, which can generate power and cooking gas to locals. According to Manorama, the biogas unit will process 300kg of solid waste to generate cooking gas for 15 households, besides distributing electricity to nearby households. This has led to self-sustenance in the village. For this venture the State Government will shell out Rs. 10/- lakhs. The project will be carried out under the UNION, Ministry of Rural Development’s Goverdhan Initiative and the Kerala State Government’s Suchitwa Mission.
In TAMIL NADU, a 73-year-old retired chemistry professor from the Thiagarajar Engineering College in Madurai was, one of the 73 recipients of the Padma Shri in 2018, the government’s fourth highest civilian honour. Sri. Rajagopalan Vasudevan is known as the “Plastic Man of India” for devising an innovative way of disposing of plastic waste – by using it to build roads. The use of this technology is very cost effective, less expensive, while making roads.
In 2002, Sri. Rajagopalan Vasudevan came up with the idea of spraying dry, shredded plastic waste, made up of pieces as small as 2 mm in size, over gravel or bitumen heated to 170 degrees Celsius. The plastic melted and coated the stones with a thin film. The plastic-coated stones were then added to molten tar. Since both plastic and tar are petroleum products, they bind well. Vasudevan first tried out this technique to pave a road on the college campus. It yielded twin benefits: it reused plastic waste and built durable roads.
The new ‘Plastone block technology' developed by Sri. Rajagopalan Vasudevan in 2012, follows the earlier ‘Plastic road technology' and patented too.
The Plastone blocks are an admixture of waste plastics and stones and have been found to be five times stronger than the cement concrete block and is able to withstand more pressure and resist percolation of water. It has many advantages over the conventional blocks made of cement.
Each plastone block consumes 300 plastic carry bags and four to six pet bottles. It weighs light and has high transverse strength. In terms of cost, it is a little less than a cement block. Large-scale production will bring down the prices still. These blocks can be used for flooring especially outdoor, in raising compound walls and lining of canals.
We really appreciate the efforts taken by both KERALA and TAMILNADU Governments to eradicate the plastic waste into recycle use for betterment of roads, blocks too. It’s a commendable effort indeed.
VIJAYASHREE RAMESH, CHENNAI BASED ADVOCATE