Friday, July 25, 2008

PLASTIC Roads in Bangalore: A ROAD AHEAD


(This is the forwarded email from many Bangalore people, hence here)

BBMP's model of using plastic for laying roads is cost-effective and ensures that the piled-up plastic waste is buried with the roads Bangalore: The plastic experiment on Bangalore's roads is set for the next level. As holders of the technology patent get ready to upgrade the plastic-bitumen blend model, the city can look forward to the promised smooth drive, on more durable roads.The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has used plastic on about 600 km of roads, including many thoroughfares and arterial roads. It uses the plastic blend in at least 25% of the road-laying works, including the present project to upgrade about 45 roads in the city.The plastic model was successful on major roads in Bangalore, including Shankar Mutt Road, K H Road, M G Road (towards Trinity Circle), J C Nagar Road, Miller's Road and Cunningham Road. The rise in bitumen costs over the past few years has also made the plastic model more cost-efficient. To top it, plastic is not recycled but buried with the roads, forever.In 2001, Ahmed Khan, MD, K K Plastic Waste Management (KKPWM) Pvt Ltd, tried out the plastic-bitumen blend on roads in Maddur. Of the two models of mixing plastic and bitumen, KKPWM follows the dry model.The company plans to upgrade to the wet model, where the plastic-bitumen mixture is directly blended with tar. "A unit for the wet process requires an investment of about Rs 10 crore. We are looking at venture capitalists. With the present model, we have not reached the break-even stage,'' Khan said. The BBMP purchases plastic waste from KKPWM at Rs 27 per kg. The plastic-bitumen roads have proved twice as durable as normal roads. The TV Tower Road and Shankar Mutt Road, laid in 2002, are still motorable.The technology, vetted through research in association with academic institutions and road research institutes, allows the mixture of plastic and bitumen — both not bio-degradable — to use on roads and in the process, address the issue of plastic waste that's piling up.THE DRY MIX PROCESSKKPWM pays ragpickers Rs 6 to Rs 12 per kg of plastic waste, based on the quality of plastic. The waste is brought to the KKPWM unit, segregated and powdered. At the construction site, monitored by KKPWM staff, the powder is blended with bitumen (in equal proportion) and the blend is further mixed with the prescribed aggregates before it's put on the road.
Collection crunch Khan says collection of plastic waste continues to be a concern. Though about 35 tonnes of plastic waste are generated in the city every day, only about 2 tonnes reach KKPWM. The company has partnered with schools in an initiative through which students take plastic waste from homes and dump it in bins at the schools. The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) is also expected to clear installation of 200 additional bins in schools to collect plastic waste.

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