THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:A new equipment set up to recycle plastic stood defunct the next morning after its inaugural at Thiruvananthapuram Railway Station due to lack of an attendant. A PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottle-recycling machine (PBR Machine) or a reverse vending machine was installed at the station on Saturday. The Swachh Bharat Recycling Machine (PBR Machine) was facilitated by Shashi Tharoor MP.
The PET Bottle Recycler Machine (PBR Machine), with a processing capacity of 500 PET bottles per day and storage capacity of 5,000 shredded PET bottles, will shred plastic bottles into recyclable granules through the reverse vending process. Customers utilising the facility will be given
incentives through the issue of Paytm cashback coupons.
However, the machine was not switched on until 11 am on Sunday. Many passengers who came to dispose of their plastic were disappointed after finding it non-functional. “I came here to dispose the plastic bottle and check what reward I would get,” said Rahul, a student.
According to the Railway official, the machine cannot be left operational without a caretaker as it
requires 30 seconds before disposing of the next bottle.Since the public is unaware of the mechanism, leaving it operational without an attendant would be a risk. “The Railways will assign a caretaker soon as the request has been forwarded to the authorities. The technicians unplugged the machine yesterday night to avoid any congestion due to the disposal of more bottles,” said Balakrishnan, station commercial manager at Thiruvananthapuram Railway station.
However, after Express enquired about it, the machine was immediately switched on for the passengers by 11.30 am. “Till an attendant has been assigned officially, I will take care of it,” said the station manager.
The machine crushes the plastic bottles fed into it and shreds them. The end product will be utilised by fibre-manufacturing companies to produce polyester clothes, carpets, and bags. The PBR Machine is an innovative step for primary treatment of plastic waste by Swaniti Initiative of SPARC program with the Railways materialised by the CSR funding of Jubilant Foodworks Limited in partnership with Wild West Innovations.