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Monday, September 27, 2021

Pune: PMC launches pilot project for recycling thermocol waste

The project named ‘Recycole’ is being implemented by K K Nag, the largest manufacturer of thermocol in the country, with the help of waste-picker cooperative SWaCH.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: September 8, 2021 4:04:54 pm
A total of 2,100 tons of waste is generated in PMC every day, which includes an estimated 0.4 to 0.5 tons of thermocol waste | Representational image

Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has joined hands with SWaCH cooperative and K K Nag Pvt Ltd to launch a sustainable thermocol (Polystyrene) recycling initiative in the city. The five-month pilot of the project was launched by mayor Murlidhar Mohol on Tuesday.

The project is off to a great start with 7.83 tons (7,830 kg) thermocol waste collected, which has saved 32 bulk refuse carrier (PMC’s large tertiary transport vehicles) trips to landfills, leading to transport efficiency, apart from saving money.

The project named ‘Recycole’ is being implemented by K K Nag Pvt Ltd, the largest manufacturer of thermocol in the country, with the help of waste-picker cooperative SWaCH.

A total of 2,100 tons of waste is generated in PMC every day, which includes an estimated 0.4 to 0.5 tons of thermocol waste. Considered a boon for packaging and logistics for consumer goods, thermocol is a cause of concern from the solid-waste management perspective. The material gives goods safely but it is often found littered in streets and canals due to a lack of proper waste management systems.

“Our goal is to ensure that there is not a single piece of used thermocol littering on the streets of PMC. We want to collect every piece, recycle it and give it a new lease of life while ensuring that our streets are clean,” said Milon K Nag of K K Nag.

A 1,500 kg garbage collection vehicle of the PMC can only carry around 50 kg of thermocol due to its volume. K K Nag and Swach will ensure its safe collection, transportation and diversion to recycling in partnership with the PMC.

The mayor said, “thermocol has always been a difficult material to collect. Now, PMC, SWaCH and KK Nag have come together with an initiative to tackle this problem and ensure end to end collection helping to reduce the burden on SWM systems and economically benefit the Pune city.”

Additional municipal commissioner Kunal Khemnar said, “this initiative will help PMC boost its efforts to conserve Pune’s resources and save expenditure on transport and processing. This is a win-win solution.”

The initiative will be implemented across Pune. Bulk waste generators like housing societies, commercial complexes, showrooms should store the waste. Once thermocol enough to fill a small tempo is collected, citizens should contact SWaCH, which will coordinate the collection of waste for recycling. Independent households and shops should hand over thermocol generated in small quantities directly to waste pickers daily. Segregated thermocol will be collected by waste-pickers and handed over to PMC’s secondary transport vehicles and stored temporarily at PMC’s decentralised transfer stations. K K Nag will collect thermocol from such locations for recycling.

“This is a replicable, scalable project complementary to the PMC’s waste collection system operated by the Swach cooperative, and has the potential to be the largest such recycling system in the country. Waste-pickers already recycle over 200 tons of waste in the city every day. This will be another feather in their cap towards sustainability. We appeal to the citizens to segregate and hand ove thermocol separately to Swach waste-pickers to ensure recycling”, said Harshad Barde, director, Swach Pune cooperative.

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