Thursday, 29 June 2017

Space crunch hurts bottle crusher plan

29/06/2017

PUNE: Space crunch and plot owners' reluctance to supply power to run bottle crushers have crushed the civic body's dream to install the gadget across the city to convert plastic waste into useful material.

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had planned to install these machines in 20 locations. A year on, only three machines have been set up. Of them, the one installed at the corporation head office has been removed because of the cost factor.

A source at the PMC's solid waste management department said, "There were plans to install the machines at different locations, especially at the airport and railway stations. But it did not work out. The availability of land has become an issue. Also, the organizations owning the land have to supply electricity to run the bottle crushers."

Suresh Jagtap, the head of PMC's solid waste management department, said, "There are some technical issues. We are working to sort them out. Few more machines will be installed in the days to come." Rewind to the bottle crusher removed from the PMC head office. The civic body found the fees demanded by the company installing the gadget too hefty.

S C N Jatar, the founder of Nagari Chetana Manch, a citizens' group, said, "The whole priority list to carry out the smart city projects should be reviewed. Projects such as bottle crushing units should be taken up after resolving all the key issues related to garbage processing."

Recycling plastic waste was one of 15 projects launched as a part of the Smart Cities Mission initiative in 2016. "The PMC proposes incentives and motivates its citizens to segregate plastic waste at source and collect segregated plastic waste through the waste pickers' door-to-door collection system," the proposal had stated.

The civic body has started some plastic bottle collection centres, where containers are fitted. According to the civic officials, the collection system is getting good response from the residents of the city as well as tourists.

According to the target, a total of 200 collection points were to be developed. But hardly 50 have been introduced so far.The PMC has taken the initiative of setting up plastic recycling units across the city in phases.

According to the civic officials, the civic body's objective to start these units is to ensure maximum plastic trash is recycled instead of being dumped at public places or garbage bins. Every unit being installed in the city is slated to have the capacity to process about 8,000 bottles a day.Officials in the civic body stressed plastic bottles formed a major part of waste in the city. About 15% of the total waste generated in the city is plastic. 

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