The Department of Panchayati Raj is setting up a 3 ton per day capacity, Common Waste Plastic Recycling Plant in Haridwar of Uttarakhand. The facility when ready would be able to treat all recyclable plastic waste collected from villages; a task that is normally a challenge given the hilly terrain, geographical conditions and inadequate transportation facilities.
The foundation stone for the facility was laid by the Central Rural Development Minister, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar and the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Shri Trivendra Singh Rawat on 9th February 2020.
Commenting on the move, Dr. Ramesh Badola, Environment specialist (Project Management Unit, Swajal) said that the project would be a milestone for solid waste management as the state is keen to effectively manage its solid waste, particularly in the rural areas.
Previously, the state government had planned a cluster approach for recyclable waste collection in collaboration with the Swachh Bharat Mission (G), Panchayati Raj and other line departments. However, for final recycling of plastic waste a common plastic recycling plant was required to cater to Garhwal Mandal of Uttarakhand.
The Department of Panchayati Raj informs that all plastic waste village will be collected by Self Help Groups of the concerned Gram panchayats who will bring it to their cluster centres It can then be purchased at Rs.6-8/Kg from the SHGs. Thereafter, plastic waste will be compressed by a compacter machine following which the bales will be transported to the Common Waste Plastic Recycling Facility Centre in Haridwar.
A total of Rs. 2.95 crore has been sanctioned by National Gram Swarajya Mission for FY 2019-20 wide Ministry of Panchayat Raj Letter dated 1st October 2019 for machinery/equipment. Other establishment and O&M costs will be borne by the Zila Panchayat Haridwar (State Finance Commission Grant/ Own Source Revenue). The plant will be run in a Public Private Partnership Mode.
According to the Department of Panchayati Rai, a plastic recycling plant has already been established in Kathgodam of Nainital distinct by the Lake Development Authority of Nainital under National Lake Conservation Project. The facility although in operational condition, can only recycle a single type of plastic i.e Polyethylene (PE) for making of HDPE (high density polyethylene pipes) pipes. Hence upgradation of this plant has been proposed in the working plan of FY 2020-21 under National Gram Swajaj Abhiyan, Ministry of Panchayati Raj.
Ever since the Swachhata Hi Seva 2019 campaign was held from 11th September to 2nd October 2019, with a focus on plastic waste management; districts across the country are making efforts to curb the use the plastic, some even banning single use plastic (SUP), given the negative impact that plastic is having on the environment and on human health.
Fortunately, management of plastic waste often starts at the household and individual levels; and many institutions/organisations are putting in place effective strategies to educate and motivate citizens to change behaviour. People are made aware about the importance of disposing of waste in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.
Solid and Liquid waste management has been in progress under ODF Plus activities carried out under the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Uttarakhand Government under Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen).
At the same time, the Department of Panchayati Raj, is also working on setting in motion solid waste management works in the rural areas of Uttarakhand, having issued a policy on solid waste (2017) to all panchayats.