Agartala plans to generate power from plastic

Agartala: In a bid to manage the growing Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), including thin plastic carry bags, leading Agartala based non-government research organisation ARPAN has planned to set up plasma gasification plant.

Followed by a three-day seminar-cum-workshop and round table discussion on management of MSW and alternative use of plastic carry bags, ARPAN vice-president D Daschoudhury said here today that the agenda had been set for turning waste into wealth.

“About 80 per cent of our daily life is dominated by plastic and in India plastic is the third largest industry that contributes 17 per cent of our GDP. Hence avoiding plastic is not at all a solution. We have planned to use appropriate technology to generate power or hydrocarbon,” Mr Daschoudhury said.

Agartala Municipal Council (AMC) had been facing a serious problem in dumping of solid wastes and recycling non-degradable desecrates generated by the city dwellers.

“AMC does not have trained manpower and proper infrastructure of solid waste management though they are spending roughly about Rs 70 lakh every month just to clean, sweep and dump the waste into the ground, which is concerning,” Mr Daschoudhury said.

Plasma gasification is a technology to convert solid waste into energy at medium scale investment, which is successfully running in Bangalore, Nagpur and Chennai and the energy in electricity form has been contributing to domestic power supply in respective cities.

AMC collects around 200 MT solid waste a day, of which 12-14 MT is plastic and this desecrate plastic has become a potential threat to city life. The state government had renewed ban on carrying, using and stocking less than 20 micron plastic carry bags several times but this did not work because of it’s user friendly properties.

“In our preliminary exercise, we have chalked out a plan to set up a 20 kilowatt power plant in association with Citizen Activists Group (CAG) of Santiniketan, West Bengal, by using 1.5 MT plastic wastes in a day on pilot basis soon,” Mr Daschoudhury observed.

This small power plant could be set up with an investment of Rs 4 crore and it can expand up to 12 Megawatt depending on the availability of plastic materials and other solid waste at the investment of around Rs 30 crore, Mr Daschoudhury maintained.

According to CAG Chief P Chakraborty besides generation of power, plastic could be returned as liquid hydrocarbon in pure form in the same technology. The AMC waste can produce around 9300 liters of diesel a day from the plastic waste, which could substitute the fuel business to the tune of Rs 4.20 lakh.

Regarding MSW management they said, AMC does not manage the waste. It simply cleans the waste and carries it to the dumping ground.

This practice will one day turn the entire city into a dumping yard. Waste management in Agartala is in a very bad shape now-a-days leading to the increase of cockroach and mosquito in the city. (UNI)

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