Dispose of plastic waste in cement kiln, pollution control board tells local bodies

: Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board has asked all the local bodies of Madurai district to establish plastic waste collection centres and dispose them of at cement kiln of Madras Cements in Virudhunagar district.

The District Environmental Engineer, A.R. Krishnaram, said that the cement factory had signed a memorandum of understanding with the local bodies to make use of its kiln to dispose the non-recyclable waste which on being strewn on the streets prevents infiltration of rainwater into the ground.

The waste such as use-and-throw plastics clogged drains resulting in breeding of mosquito and thereby affected public health.

In order to collect such waste, the board has asked all the local bodies to establish plastic waste collection centres in important locations places of worship, bus stand, railway station, market, commercial centres, malls and marriage halls.

Mr. Krishnaram said that as a trial around 26 tonnes of plastic wastes from Madurai district was taken to the cement factory and disposed of some seven months back. “Destroying the waste at a temperature of 1,800 degree Celsius will not cause any pollution. The 60-metre long chimney will also ensure that,” he said.

The Madras Cements Vice-President (manufacturing), N. Ravi Shankar, said that his factory was extending the service to the local bodies free of cost.

“Initially, plastic waste from local bodies was brought here. However, it stopped thereafter since the local bodies were not able to segregate the plastics at source,” he said.

Stating that the board was implementing the Municipal Solid Waste (M&H) Rules, 2000, Mr. Krishnaram said that along with the district administration, the board was trying to create an awareness among the people on segregation on biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste at source.

Around 60 to 70 per cent of municipal solid waste comprises biodegradable organic waste like vegetable waste, food waste, paper and remaining non-biodegradable waste like plastic papers, pet bottles, glass bottles, metals, rubber tyres and tubes and plastic covers of milk and oil, shampoo and soap, cardboard, coconut shells.

The biodegradable waste could be converted as manure by composting. The Madurai Corporation has installed a composting plant at a cost f Rs.56 crores at Vellakkal to collect and treat 450 tonnes of solid waste.

He urged the people to carry out source segregation in their houses, hand them over to the local bodies for further treatment and disposal.

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