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Bangalore boy to build roads from plastic waste

Bangalore: The problem of plastic waste in the city is getting acute by the day. Bangalore generates roughly 5,000 tonne of solid waste daily, of which nearly 50 tonne is plastic. But there is a ray of hope as an M Tech student has taken it upon himself to find ways of countering the menace.

A N Ashwin, a student of R V Engineering College, is conducting a study, titled ‘Effects of Waste Plastic Utilisation on the Performance of Semi-Dense Bituminous Concrete Mixes’, which will look at ways to put plastics to good use. The study is a first-of-its-kind in India. Every day, tonnes of plastic is generated, and not properly disposed – its either dumped along with other waste generated or is being burnt, causing a serious threat to the environment.

When plastic is used in semi-dense materials for laying roads, the road’s durability increases. It doesn’t get damaged easily and stops seepage of water. “Recycled plastic is already being used in making of roads and is used to mix with the aggregates. But it is not used in semi-dense bituminous concrete mixes. By recycling the waste, the goal of plastic waste management is also achieved,” said Ashwin.

“The waste plastic is used in wet process where it is mixed with bitumen, but no one has tried it yet with dry process, which we are doing for the first time. Low-density waste plastic in its fine shredded form will be added (at high temperature) to the heated aggregates, thus forming a thin coating on them.

As a result, it provides better performance of semi-dense bituminous concrete mixes by performing two different functions. One improves the adhesive property of aggregates with binders and also it improves anti-stripping property of aggregates,” he added.

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