It has been three months since two reverse vending machines were installed at the civilian hospital in Ludhiana to recycle plastic waste, but so far these have not been operational.
The civilian body had purchased 10 reverse vending machines at a cost of 50 lakh in the first phase, under the Smart City Mission. While two machines installed in the civilian hospital collect dust, the civic body has yet to finalize the location for eight machines.
According to the previous proposal, the machines would be installed at the bus stop, the main market of Sarabha Nagar, the main market of Model Town and other public places that see a heavy footfall.
When contacted about the delay in launching the project, MC Commissioner Pardeep Sabharwal said the civilian body still needs to complete some payment formalities with the contractor for operations and maintenance of the machines. “The locations for installing the other machines will be finalized,” he said, adding that the formalities will be completed soon.
Ludhiana produces about 300 metric tons of plastic waste on a daily basis, and most of it is collected at the main dump site on Tajpur Road. An official, who requested anonymity, said: “The reversing machine is unlikely to provide a complete solution to the city’s waste management problem, but the volume of plastic waste will certainly be reduced.”
How the machines work
The machine will accept and crush plastic bottles / aluminum cans and multilayer packaging, including packages of potato chips, waffles, chocolate wrapper, mouth freshener, all glossy flexible packaging (shampoo etc.), ketchup, Dettol package, face wash, toothpaste. According to the proposal, the ground / packed material will then be sent for recycling and the contractor will be responsible for it. The machines have a baking capacity of 2,000 bottles, from 100ml to 2,500ml. The volume of the bottle cans is reduced by approximately 65% in the machines.
Proposal to give coupons as a reward
According to the first proposal, residents will also receive discount / reward vouchers in exchange for dumping plastic waste into the machine. But officials have so far failed to make such agreements. Initially, it is expected that the civic body will start the project without incentive for the public.