Plastic bags collected in 20 wards go to the processing unit
Plastic bags of various microns thickness lay scattered outside a shed in Apanaickenpalayam, near Thudiyalur. A cursory look suggests that the Corporation had dumped the bags there. It is not so, as the Corporation is recycling the bags to produce plastic cakes that will be recycled to produce various plastic products.
Commissioner G. Latha told journalists on Tuesday that the Corporation had begun the process of recycling plastic bags. The plastic bags collected from the 20 wards in the North Zone go the processing zone, where members of a self help group clean, dry and shred the bags.
The workers then feed the shredded plastic pieces to a machine, which using heat, compacts them into plastic cakes.
The Corporation had tasked the conservancy workers in the Zone with collecting the waste. To encourage them to collect the bags, the Corporation would pay Rs. 2 a kg. In the past few days, the workers had collected nearly 2,900 kg bags.
The Commissioner said that for every 125 kg shredded waste, the machine pushes out plastic cakes that weigh 100 kg. The Corporation sold a kg of the plastic cake at Rs. 17.50 to an Erode-based businessman who uses the same as raw material to manufacture plastic products.
For producing the cakes, the Corporation pays each of the eight members of the self help groups Rs. 150 a day. And, at the end of the day, the Corporation was left with Rs. 350 which it could use towards maintenance and power charges.
Ms. Latha said that the Corporation had just started the unit. At present it was keen on streamlining the process and in the days to come could look at handing over the entire unit to the self help group members.
The objective was to recycle plastics.
For managing the plastic waste in other zones the Corporation was looking at other models of waste management. For example in Ward 23 (R.S. Puram), where the Corporation had implemented the Shunya Project of ‘Zero Waste Management’ the Corporation had tied-up with ITC.
The workers there sold the plastics and other dry waste to the company for a consideration.
At the inauguration on Tuesday, Mayor S.M. Velusamy, councillors and officials were present.