BENGALURU: The ungainly appearance of plastic bottles strewn on railway tracks and platforms will be a thing of the past if the Bengaluru Railway Division succeeds in its new eco-friendly initiative. In a couple of days, four bottle crushing machines are set to make their appearance in three railway stations in Bengaluru.
A private firm has come forward to sponsor this initiative. The Krantivira Sangolli Rayanna (KSR) railway station will have two such machines while the Yeshwantpur and Cantonment railway stations will have one each, Senior Divisional Commercial Manager N R Sridharamurthy told The New Indian Express. At KSR, one of the machines will be on Platform One while the other will be on Platform Ten so that both entries are covered, he said.
"The concern Parle Agro has come forward to sponsor the machines as part of its CSR initiative. Each of these machines costs Rs 4.5 lakh," he said. The automated machines will run on electricity and the Railways will bear the charges for them. A bottle-crushing unit was inaugurated at Mysuru railway station two months ago.
"These machines will run 24x7 and anyone who wants to throw away a bottle has to just insert it here," Sridharamurthy said. "We are looking at each unit crushing a minimum of at least 1,000 bottles a day. When you look at the lakhs of passengers passing through the railway station daily, it will definitely improve the environment," he added.
"The charge that some of these discarded bottles are sometimes filled with water and resold as bottled water by unscrupulous elements can also be done away with this move," he said.
The recycled output that comes after these bottles are crushed to bits can be sold as scrap in the market, the SDCM said. The Western Railway Zone has such units in ten suburban railway stations in Mumbai and the recyled material is used to manufacture bags and T-shirts. To motivate passengers to use them, the machines there churn out coupons every time a bottle is recycled and these can be used to avail discounts ranging between 5% and 10% on branded products.
HOW IT WORKS
Among the salient features of the machine is that it operates automatically depending on the number of bottles fed into it. The bottle is subsequently disintegrated into a fine piece of plastic, and released. These machines have been designed as a cost-effective means for disposal of waste plastic bottles. It is easy to use the machine. The crusher places the empty bottle into the receiving aperture; the horizontal in-feed system allows the user to insert containers one at a time. Once a bottle is inserted, it is crushed to reduce it's size. The machine, which is about the size of a refrigerator, can consume around 5,000 bottles in a day.