In a major initiative which would help in reducing the scourge of plastic and other non bio-degradable wastes, the Panchayati Raj department of Uttarakhand is working on a plan to collect waste and recycle it on a large scale. Under Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA), the department the department would install compactors at every Nyay Panchayat of the state and set up a common waste recycling facility (CWRF) in Haridwar.
The project assumes significance as the bane of non biodegradable wastes is spreading fast in the Himalayan landscape of rural Uttarakhand. Apart from cleaning the rural areas, the project also plans to the provide income to the villagers.
On the directive of the Panchayati Raj minister Arvind Pandey, the department initially would set up waste compactors in one Nyay Panchayat in all 95 blocks. Later these machines would be installed in all 670 Nyay Panchayats of the state. The objective of the compactors is to reduce transportation cost of the waste to the recycling plant.
The additional secretary, Panchayati Raj institutions, Harish Chandra Semwal told The Pioneer that the compactors would be operated by Women Self Help Groups (SHG) in the villages who would be trained in segregation and compaction of plastic waste. The initial investment on one compactor unit is Rs 12.50 Lakh out of which the budget of Rs 5.50 Lakh for the machine would be provided by the government of India under RGSA. The remaining funds would be contributed by 8-10 gram Panchayats.
The department aims to provide income to the villages by sale of the waste to the recycling plant at Haridwar. For setting up the recycling unit, the department has earmarked a plot of two acres in Alipur village, Bahadrabad in Haridwar. The recycling plant would convert the compact plastic wastes transported from villages to durable product termed ‘Plastwood’ and multi layered laminates. Both these products are commercially valuable and can be used in building industry. The capital investment in the recycling plant is to the tune of Rs 3.75 Crore.
Semwal said that the Panchayats shall be the biggest beneficiaries of the proposed end use disposal facility. He added that the recycling plant is a green industry and shall be operated in a PPP mode. A study done by the department shows that the commercial value of 100 kg of solid non biodegradable waste collected at random from a village dump site is Rs four.