Tamil Nadu

Plastic waste used as construction material to build retaining walls in Coonoor

The Coonoor municipality has built walls using waste plastics. Photo: Special Arrangement  

The Coonoor municipality is using the plastic waste generated in the town as an alternative material to build retaining walls.

K.Balu, Coonoor Municipality Commissioner (CMC), said that most of the plastic waste generated within the town is “baled” at high pressure into blocks, each weighing around 200 kg. “This process allows for the plastic to be transported to pyrolosis plants, where high pressures are used to convert plastic waste into energy,” he said.

“We also began thinking about how we can use the plastic bales as an alternative building material, and chanced upon the idea of using it to build retaining walls,” he added.

The municipality has used multiple plastic bales, weighing around 15-25 tonnes, to construct a wall measuring more than 100 feet in length and three feet in width near the Micro Compost Center (MCC) in Coonoor.

“We want to see if the wall can stand up to the rigours of the climate and other environmental factors,” said Mr. Balu. If the trial proves successful, the plastic bales could be proposed as an alternative building material for the construction of retaining walls and compound walls, for private residences as well as for government construction projects.

P.J.Vasanthan, trustee of Clean Coonoor, an NGO working with the municipality in processing the waste generated within the town, said the repurposing of the plastic, into reusable building material would serve as an alternative means of dealing with plastic generated within the town.

“Most of the plastic is of poor grade and cannot be recycled. So repurposing the plastic into building material will ensure that it has some use and remains away from landfill sites and from incineration,” he said.

Over the last seven months, since the opening of the waste management park in Coonoor, the municipality, along with Clean Coonoor, has managed to process more than 630 tonnes of dry waste, of which 100 tonnes of zero-value plastic has been salvaged, said Samatha Iyanna, managing trustee of the NGO.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 1:14:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/plastic-waste-used-as-construction-material-to-build-retaining-walls-in-coonoor/article32437595.ece

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