Guwahati: Every single plastic used in our everyday life will probably last at least 100 years. Plastic bottles, for instance, are estimated to require approximately 450 years to decompose in a landfill.

Over the past one year, a group of young volunteers has been collecting “segregated dry recyclable waste” from the residents of Guwahati in Assam to reduce pressure on the Boragaon landfill, located on the eastern side of Deepor Bill.

‘Power of 300’, a project initiated by an environmentally-conscious organisation ‘The Mid-way Journey’, has encouraged the residents of Guwahati to “reduce, reuse and recycle plastic”.

Every month, the team makes sure to collect segregated dry waste from at least 300 households in Guwahati

Every month, the team makes sure to collect segregated dry waste from at least 300 households in Guwahati. The segregated waste is then sent to a recycling unit at Lal Ganesh in the city, run by Dilip Das.

Here, based on the type of the polymer, the unit segregates the plastic once again. The grinding section shreds the plastic into smaller pieces which is washed, dried, converted into finer granules and then moulded into upcycled usable products once again.

Also read: IIT Guwahati team removes micro-plastics from sea water

“The motive of Power of 300 is to understand the environmental, social and economical impact of recycling the dry waste of 300 families. Our landfill is already overburdened and this project can throw light on how to reduce this burden, how to reduce the environmental challenges faced by the residents of Boragaon and various species found in Deepor Beel,” said Shirshendu Sekhar Das, the founder of The Mid-way Journey.

The segregated waste collected by the volunteers is then sent to a recycling unit at Lal Ganesh in Guwahati

“Guwahati has a lot of plastic as raw materials for recycling but the main problem is segregation. If we segregate our waste at source, we can create cost effective products with technology. Power of 300 aims to motivate people to segregate waste at source, which is the basic requirement for a proper solid waste management plan as per the Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules of 2016,” he added.

Within a year, more than 350 Guwahati households started cleaning and segregating the dry waste at their homes to hand it over to the volunteers at least once a week. The team has collected more than 300 kg of recyclable plastics until now.

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