Plastic waste could soon be used in construction of Gurgaon roads, said officials of the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) during a house meeting Thursday, adding that the project is likely to take off in December. “We are planning to launch a project in which plastic waste would be used in road construction. This will make the city plastic-free and improve the quality of roads,” said MCG Commissioner Yashpal Yadav.
According to MCG officials, plastic waste poses a major problem in the city. “It clogs drains, chokes animals that eat them and prevents rainwater absorption in fields. Plastic constitutes 9-12% of municipal solid waste and has become a major eyesore in public places. Urgent steps need to be taken for its reuse,” said an official.
Officials said that the construction method can be the “best possible solid waste disposal method”, and will reduce financial burden on government and civic bodies by cutting costs, giving roads a longer life”.
Invented in 2002, roads more resistant to water
The technology for use of plastic waste in road construction was invented by Professor R Vasudevan, Dean and Head of Chemistry at the Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai in 2002 and patented in 2006, said MCG officials. Plastic waste is first shredded to 2 mm-4 mm, while the aggregate mix is heated to 165 degree Celsius. The shredded waste is then added to the aggregate and heated along with it. This is finally combined with hot bitumen and the resulting mix is used for road construction, explained officials. Roads laid using plastic waste are expected to have “excellent resistance” to water and water stagnation, no potholes, enhanced binding and better bonding of the mix, apart from negligible maintenance cost in comparison to bitumen roads. It has been approved by the Indian Road Congress, Central Road Research Institute, and CPCB.
This process is already in use in Tamil Nadu, where over1,000 km of municipal roads, and over 16,000 km of rural roads have been made using it. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagat Palika and Karnataka Rural Roads Development Agency have also laid over 3,000 km of roads. “The MCG chief engineer, executive engineer and assistant engineer have already done a tour of Bengaluru to study the process,” said the commissioner.