In a bid to curb the menace of plastic waste, Manipur is planning to use plastic waste in the construction of roads. If successful, Manipur would become the second state in the Northeast after Meghalaya to use plastic waste in road construction.
Due to a rapid growth of the urban population coupled with changing lifestyles of people, the municipal solid waste generated daily has increased in the state. As per Census 2011, the total population of Manipur is 25,70,390, out of which rural and urban population is 1,736,236 and 834,154 respectively.
Based on the census, the Imphal Municipal Corporation data shows that the state witnessed an increase of 403,602 in the last decade, of which the contribution of rural and urban is 145,416 and 258,186 respectively. In the last decade, Manipur’s population growth rate has been 18.6 per cent, with rural and urban accounting for 9.1 per cent and 44.8 per cent respectively.
In percentage terms, the data further shows that of the total population, the rural and urban population constitute 67.5 per cent and 32.5 per cent respectively. However, the growth rate of the urban population in the state stands at 44.8 per cent as against 9.1 per cent for rural.
Subsequently, the rapid growth has considerably contributed to the increase of solid waste, particularly in Imphal city.
As per official data, the Imphal municipal area generates 130-150 metric tons of solid waste every day while other urban local bodies generate below 5 metric ton. It is learnt that 5 per cent of the total waste is plastic.
To tackle the menace of plastic waste, the Manipur Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has made usage of plastic waste in road construction its priority.
On May 24, the MPCB had sent a written intimation to the Manipur Public Works Department giving instructions to make the use of plastic waste in road construction mandatory in the state, said Laishram Radhakishore, chairman MPCB.
To feed this initiative the MPCB would establish plastic waste collection centres in five valley districts within the current months, he added.
According to the chairman, at the proposed centres any individual can sell plastic waste at Rs 9 to 15 per kg based on the quality of the products. “These centres will not only prevent random disposal of plastic waste but also collection points for plastic waste to sustain the project of plastic technology to be used in construction of roads,” he asserted.
It is learnt that the proposed centres would be outsourced to private companies or individuals under Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.
Th. Ibotomba Singh, principal director CIPET, Imphal, said, “Plastic waste is collected and segregated from mixed solid waste. The dried plastics waste is shredded to 2-4 mm size and added to heated stone aggregate followed by mixing. Further, the coated aggregate is mixed with hot bitumen, which is used for laying and compaction.”
He elaborated that road constructed using plastic waste is stronger with increased marshal stability value besides better resistance towards rainwater and water stagnation.
For 1 km x 3.75 m road, 1 ton of plastic is used, which leads to saving of 1 ton of bitumen. Cost of road construction is decreased due to saving of bitumen, he added.