With plastic items contributing to around 50 per cent of the total garbage generated in the metropolis every day, the Greater Chennai Corporation has planned to use plastic waste to manufacture paver blocks to be used for construction activities.
The residue would be mixed with cement, M-sand and gravel chips to produce the paver blocks, he added. “Incinerating one tonne of plastic waste can generate 30-40 kg residue which is sufficient to build 15 paver blocks,” the official said. The smoke emanating from the plant on burning the plastic would be treated using a seven-stage filtering process before letting it out through a 40-feet-high chimney, added the official.
“The emission would be well within the limits allowed by Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB). We already have a similar plant running successfully in Erode,” he said.
Also, the sludge produced while the plastic is burned would be used as fertiliser as it is rich in carbon. The civic body has floated tender inviting private firms to set up the plant with an incineration capacity of 50 tonnes per day at the cost of around Rs 9.5 crore. Also, the civic body has recently seized around 250 tonnes of banned plastic items.
Earlier, the officials had decided to use the banned plastic items seized from shops and segregated from garbage as fuel for cement manufacturing units in the state. That plan, however, was dropped owing to unaffordable transportation expenses.
The Corporation also held talks with the electricity department requesting them to utilise the seized plastic items as fuel for North Chennai Thermal Plant. But, this plan was also dropped as the incinerator in the thermal plant is only suitable for burning powdered coal.
Meanwhile, a circular was issued on Saturday which empowered the officials conducting plastic raids to impose penalties against the violators. The Chennai Corporation is also preparing a detailed project report to build hallow block manufacturing units from construction waste at Perungudi and Kodungaiyur landfills.