Nedumgandam, a small village in Idukki district, Kerala, is setting the bar for plastic waste management in India.
According to Manorama Online, a Kerala-based publication, the village panchayat sold 4,136.83 kg of recycled plastic waste for Rs 62,472 to the Clean Kerala Company, which is an initiative by the state government.
Thus far, the panchayat reportedly has 10,000 kg of plastic waste and 3,000 kg of organic fertiliser up for sale. Women employed through the State government’s Kudumbasree initiative go to each household, school and hospital to collect plastic waste and other non-biodegradable waste.
The local panchayat then recycles the plastic, which is then sold to the Clean Kerala Company. Following this transaction, the Clean Kerala Company sells this recycled plastic at a reasonable price to both the public works department and private companies manufacturing bitumen, who then go onto construct roads in villages. Having said that, there are now attempts to strengthen the collection process with greater cooperation from the block panchayat office.
At the waste processing plant, the village panchayat has also received permission from the state government to install a biogas unit, which can generate power and cooking gas to locals—yet another push towards self-sustenance. For this venture, the State government will shell out Rs 10 lakh. The project itself will be carried out under the [Union] Ministry of Rural Development’s Goverdhan initiative and the Kerala government’s Suchitwa Mission.
Many local corporations, municipalities and panchayats across the state have waste processing units, and Nedumgandam is no different. According to Manorama, the biogas unit will process 300 kg of solid waste to generate cooking gas for 15 households, besides distributing electricity to nearby households.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)