Downtown

“Don’t throw away that empty chips packet”

“By starting this initiative, we have considerably reduced the dumping of plastic wastes into the Perungudi dumping yard,” says a Corporation engineer. Photo: M. Karunakaran   | Photo Credit: M_Karunakaran

What do you do with the empty packets of biscuits and chips after eating them? Or the plastic covers you get from the stores? The Chennai Corporation wants you to segregate them from the wet wastes and hand them over to the conservancy worker on the tri-cycle who digs plastics from the garbage bins in your locality. Zone 14 has stepped up its drive to collect plastic wastes from the neighbourhood to use it to blacktop roads.

“So far, we were buying plastic wastes for road laying purpose. Since last week, we have been collecting household plastic wastes from the 11 divisions of the zone for road work where we have environment clearance,” said S. Elangovan, assistant commissioner, Zone XIV. The shredding machines are located at Pallikaranai, Perungudi and Madipakkam, where the plastic is segregated, cleaned, dried and grinded on the machines.

This initiative taken by the Zone is expected to save the Corporation a lot of money. So far, the Zone has been buying plastic at Rs. 9 to Rs. 12 a kilo.

At the Perungudi collection centre, for instance, plastic waste is collected from the four divisions — Kandanchavadi, Perungudi, Palavakkam and Kottivakkam. One division has around 18 tri-cycles. Each brings around 2 kilos of plastic a day. The conservancy worker who goes around in the tri-trycle collecting the plastic wastes is paid Rs. 295 a day.

The shredded waste is sent to the respective division where it is given to the contractor taking up the road work. Plastic granules, mixed with bitumen, are effective in the blacktopping of roads and many cities are said to be adopting this model, a reason the Corporation has supplied each zone with shredding machines.

A machine shreds about 5 kilos of plastic a day and eight workers are involved in the entire process at Perungudi.

There is another advantage of collecting plastic wastes. “By starting this initiative, we have considerably reduced the dumping of plastic wastes into the Perungudi dumping yard. Since last July, we have collected 1,200 kilos of plastic at the Perungudi collection unit.

Plastic is non-biodegradable and if more residents were to help us, we ca stop polluting the environment with plastic,” said a Corporation engineer. At Madipakkam, 89 tri-cycles are involved in collecting plastic wastes from the four divisions and nearly 26.7 kilos of shredded plastic is generated every day.

The Zone is also looking at generating additional revenue through this project. Its collection centres also segregate wet wastes that are converted into manure.

“In the future, we also plan to sell the manure after using it in parks and other public places,” said the official.


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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 4:22:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/dont-throw-away-that-empty-chips-packet/article6818649.ece

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