By G Saravanan
Published in The New Indian Express, Chennai on Dec 28, 2011:CHENNAI: Taking a giant step towards increasing lifespan of its roads that get battered every monsoon, the Chennai Corporation has planned to include plastic waste while re-laying roads from January next.
According to Ripon Building sources, inclusion of plastic waste into the bitumen mix for re-laying Corporation-maintained roads would improve the quality of roads and also solve the problem of plastic disposal in the city.
“By using the plastic waste for re-laying roads from next week, the civic body would be able to dispose of the nagging problem of handling non-degradable plastic wastes in the city and its dump yards,” civic body sources told Express.According to them, the civic body’s authorities were in the process of finalising the roads on which the scheme would be implemented first in a couple of weeks and a heavily battered road used heavily throughout the year would be selected for the ‘test’.The expanded city Corporation has a total of 515 bus route roads (BRR) for a length of 501 km. There are over 17,600-odd interior roads in the city, which were under the maintenance of the Chennai Corporation.It may be noted that the the Chennai Corporation officials in July had visited Madurai and held discussions with the experts at the Thiagarajar College of Engineering on the plastic waste management initiative.Though the city generates about 300 tonnes of plastic waste daily, given the chemical composition of the material, only half of them could be used for road re-laying.As per the plan, Chennai Corporation would use 10 per cent plastic waste with the composition of bitumen in the ratio 90:10 for relaying roads in the city.The molten plastic would form a layer on the blue metal pieces, making it bind strongly and a bitumen layer over it would increase the road’s life over five years.To collect plastic from residents directly, civic body would install large bins at every ward office (200 wards) and also to install industrial-grade shredders in 10 places to cut plastics for use during road re-laying.