FMCG major ITC Ltd plans to set up waste processing units in Bangalore by procuring dry recyclable plastic from households and commercial establishments.

For setting up the plant, the company has partnered with Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagar Palike (BBMP) to source recyclable plastic waste as part of its ‘Wealth out of Waste’ (WOW) initiative.

The project is a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative of the company to help create sustainable livelihoods for rag pickers and municipal waste collectors (paura karmiks).

“We are now rolling out WOW in Bangalore after its successful launch in Hyderabad and Chennai,” Jogarao, senior vice-president of ITC, told Business Line.

“The company is planning to invest Rs 1 crore for installing a European technology backed waste processing unit. The initial capacity of the unit will be one tonne daily and later, depending on raw material availability, we will scale it up,” he added.

Bangalore city generates about 150 tonnes of light weight plastic every day with majority of it being multi-layer laminates and plastics less than 20 microns.

Acknowledging the assistance of ITC to set up waste processing units in Bangalore, M. Lakshminarayana, Commissioner of BBMP, said: “We have identified three-four land parcels in Bangalore for the project. After the company finalises the location, operations are expected to begin by August.”

Waste processing units are to generate diesel oil, carbon black and gas and aluminium as by-products.

“All these have commercial value and revenues generated will be ploughed back to WOW to improve the living conditions and economic status of rag pickers and paura karmiks,” Jogarao said.

In addition to waste processing units, ITC’s WOW initiative is set to take up waste segregation in 12 municipal wards across Bangalore city on a pilot basis.

“These rag pickers and municipal workers will not only become brand ambassadors for the programme, but will also be the biggest beneficiaries of this programme,” explained Jogarao.

The WOW programme also plans to spread awareness on reduce-reuse-recycle approach to waste. The programme also seeks to inculcate the habit of source segregation and recycling among the general public.

For the programme, the company and BBMP is involving all segments such as households, offices, shops, schools, other educational institutions, malls, supermarkets, banks, hotels and hospitals.

Lakshminarayana said, “In addition, BBMP will also support this initiative by providing dry waste collection centres in each ward and ensuring that waste segregation is strictly implemented by their staff in each ward.”

(This article was published on June 30, 2013)
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