TCE to help Bhutan lay plastic waste roads

This technology is an effective solution to plastic waste menace.— File PHoto  

The technology developed by the Centre for Studies on Solid Waste Management of the Thiagarajar College of Engineering (TCE) here is all set to be applied in the mountain kingdom of Bhutan. The technology involves coating of aggregate with molten waste plastic before it is mixed with bitumen. Besides being an effective solution to plastic waste menace, it brings down considerably the cost of laying roads and enhances their life.

Rikesh Gurung, founder of The Green Road (TGR), an organisation that works for promoting environment-friendly and socially responsible projects in Bhutan, said plastic roads would be laid in the mountain kingdom as a public-private initiative. The Government of Bhutan has authorised TGR to remove plastic waste in landfills. “There is about 20 lakh tonnes of waste plastic in the land fills and Thimphu generates 50 tonnes of plastic waste daily,” said Mr. Rikesh, who was at the TCE for a three-day training.

The TGR has started a shredding unit on the outskirts of Thimphu, the first plastic recycling facility in the country. The shredded plastic will be used for laying roads. “I have laid a plastic road in the industrial estate with TCE technology. We shall apply the technology in association with the Department of Roads and leading road contractors. The Central Road Research Institute, New Delhi, will guide us in this venture,” Mr. Rikesh said.

The TGR would focus on rural roads before coming to urban areas. Recycling waste plastic would be the right way to save the environment, he said. “In Bhutan, it has been difficult to ban plastic use. You can ban it in an emotional way. Actual ban will escalate cost of consumer products as all of them are now wrapped in plastic,” he said.

R. Vasudevan, Dean, TCE, said the technology should be tweaked to suit the low temperature in Bhutan while laying plastic roads. “Low temperature and rainfall will be the problems in high altitude. We will provide necessary guidance to overcome these issues,” he said.

Technology brings down cost of laying roads and enhances their life

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2021 12:43:54 PM |

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