Shimla: Doing away with landfills for dumping plastic waste and instead recycling it for road building purposes has provided hope of making the state a polythene free one.
Efforts to clear up plastic litter led the government to launch a weeklong 2009 year ender â€˜Polythene Hatao- Paryavaran Bachaoâ€™ campaign that piled up enough material to surface a 138 km road stretch, said an official spokesman.
He said that within a week after chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal launched the campaign from Dharamshala on December 21st, the authorities had collected 1381 quintals of polythene waste from hill slopes, forest areas, riversides, nullahs and urban centers.
At a campaign review meet chaired by chief secretary Asha Swaroop, where she also interacted with deputy commissioners in the district through video-conferencing, it emerged that the waste collected would help road builders to save about Rs 60 lakhs material by mixing shredded plastic with bitumen for road surfacing.
Not only is the hazardous toxic waste successfully cleared but by re-using it as a road building material under new available technology, it has been put to productive use, he said. After testing the new material near Shimla airport where about 550 kgs of plastics has been used to surface a 800 meters road stretch, the results have been encouraging, he added
The government has advocated adopting zero waste management for all agencies and would not hesitate to take appropriate action for littering of non- biodegradable waste.
The chief minister is intent to carry the campaign forward in a sustainable manner to make â€˜Himachal Clean Green and Polythene Freeâ€™, the spokesman said.
Triggered by complaints of choked drainage, recycled plastic bags were first banned in 1999 and it was extended last October to all kinds of plastic bags.
Other solid waste management ways adopted has been co-processing plastic waste in kilns for manufacture of cement at existing plants. Using waste plastic in kilns has helped to reduce coal deficit because of the high calorific value that polythene has.