Mysore awaits fuel, perfume from plastic waste

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  • Process may offer long-term solution to disposing of solid refuse

Mysore, 10 June 2010: The Mysore City Corporation (MCC), basking in glory after the city was recently adjudged the second cleanest in India, is planning to turn the place into a “zero waste” zone. 

The corporation plans to set up a manufacturing unit in the heritage city to turn plastic into crude oil; with the spin-offs being diesel, kerosene, wax and even a small quantity of perfume. And when this happens, Mysore will be the first city in the State to have a recycling system for plastic waste.

The project is proposed to be set up at Vidyaranyapuram on a three-acre plot and on a 30-year lease. It will be established on private-public partnership, with zero investment from the MCC.

It will use a technological process called polymer energy system. The process may offer a long-term solution to the problem of the disposal of municipal solid waste in cities.

Urban planners see it as one of the three prongs of waste-disposal method; the other two being conversion of biodegradable waste such as kitchen and vegetable waste into compost and the non-biodegradable waste used in landfills.

Segregated plastic waste will be collected from areas in sealed containers and be brought to the site for further processing. Mysore, which generates about 20-22 tonnes of plastic everyday, plans to start with processing 10 tonnes at initial stages and increase further to achieve full recycling of plastic waste everyday.

Recycling cost

The MCC will sell plastic waste to the unit and the money will be used to meet the cost of recycling in the process. The council has invited expressions of interest for the project. 

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Mysore City Corporation Commissioner K S Raykar said: “We first saw the demonstration of this technology in Chennai at the unit owned by TVS. We felt this is ideal for a city like Mysore which is witnessing unprecedented growth.”

The proposal was tabled at the last meeting of the council. Corporators received it enthusiastically, Raykar said.

Another positive aspect of the recycling project is that it will employ scores of specially abled persons in the city. Over 1,000 people have sought job opportunities at the department of welfare for physically handicapped.

The know-how

Polymer Energy System uses catalytic pyrolysis to efficiently convert plastic (primarily polyolefins) into crude oil.

The output crude oil is high-grade and can be further processed in a refinery or used to power low-rpm machines such as electric generation turbines.

This system is modular in design. A single module can produce up to 775 litres of crude oil for every tonne of typical plastic waste processed. TVS, the potential technology supplier, has set up a similar unit in Chennai.


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