Plastic waste used as construction material to build retaining walls in Coonoor
The municipality of Coonoor uses the plastic waste generated in the city as an alternative material for the construction of retaining walls.
K.Balu, Commissioner for the Coonoor Municipality (CMC), said that most of the plastic waste generated in the city is “pressed” under high pressure into blocks weighing around 200 kg each. “This process allows the plastic to be transported to pyrolytic plants, where high pressure converts plastic waste into energy,” he said.
“We also thought about how we could use the plastic balls as an alternative building material and came up with the idea of building retaining walls out of them,” he added.
The community has used several bales of plastic, weighing approximately 15 to 25 tons, to build a wall more than 100 feet long and three feet wide near the Micro Compost Center (MCC) in Coonoor.
“We want to see whether the wall can withstand the rigors of the climate and other environmental factors,” said Balu. Should the attempt prove successful, the plastic balls could be proposed as an alternative building material for the construction of retaining and composite walls, for private houses as well as for government construction projects.
PJVasanthan, trustee of Clean Coonoor, an NGO that works with the community in processing the city’s waste, said repurposing the plastic into reusable building materials would serve as an alternative means of dealing with city-made plastic.
“Most of the plastic is of poor quality and cannot be recycled. Reusing the plastic in building materials will ensure that it has some use and is kept away from landfill and burns, ”he said.
In the last seven months since the Coonoor waste management park opened, the municipality, together with Clean Coonoor, has managed to process more than 630 tons of dry waste, of which 100 tons of zero-value plastic have been recovered. said Samatha Iyanna, executive trustee of the NGO.
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