Plastic garbage in India's hi-tech city will literally end up on its streets when the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) begins laying over 500km of road, using bitumen mixed with recycled plastic.
The BMP's contractors would employ a proven environment friendly technology developed by a private firm, which uses recycled plastic in the bitumen mixture for roads.
"We will begin the process of laying roads blended with recycled plastic in May once the BCC Standing Committee gives the go ahead. The committee is awaiting the lapse of the model code of conduct," BMP Engineer in-chief Rame Gowda told PTI.
The Bangalore-based K K Plastic Waste Management Ltd (KKPWM) developed the technology that turns plastic waste into a polyblend to be used in laying roads.
"We need around two tonnes of plastic for every kilometre of road. With the plastic, the cost of the road will increase marginally but is compensated by its durability and eco friendly properties," KKPWM Managing Director Ahmed Khan said.
About 8% of recycled plastic is added to the bitumen mixture to lay roads, which are durable and strong even two years after they are laid.
The Delhi-based Central Road Research Institute has validated the technology, Khan said. A field test report by the Bangalore University revealed that the polymer blend increases the fatigue life and strength of road by three times.
Rame Gowda said the BMP lays about 1,000km of roads annually and it could extend the use of plastic blend bitumen eventually to all its roads.
The city generates over 300 to 400 tonnes of plastic waste every month, Khan said adding that once the process starts, the city could be a model for other places in the country.
He declined to explain the process behind the patented technology, which he and his brother, Rasool Khan, took over five years to develop with the assistance of a chemical engineer friend."Though there have been attempts to use plastic on roads, we are proud of the fact that we have been the first to go beyond the laboratory and prove its commercial viability," Khan said.