VIJAYAWADA: As part of its efforts to eliminate single-use plastics, the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) is planning to set up 10 reverse vending machines (RVMs) in various parts of the city. These machines will dispense chocolates for a deposit of bottles or other materials made of plastic.
As per official records, Vijayawada generates 70-90 tons of non-biodegradable garbage every day and the figure touches 110 tons during festivals. Drinking water bottles, which are single-use plastics, contribute at least 20-30 per cent to the overall figure.
Taking a serious note of the matter, municipal commissioner V Prasanna Venkatesh has directed civic officials to study all possibilities of installing RVMs in major parts of the city to prevent littering on the streets. Tenders in this regard were recently finalised.
“Since June, the civic body has been organising a series of awareness programmes and campaigns to educate public about the ill-effects of single-use plastics. We are planning to set up RVMs in the city to educate people about the safe disposal of plastic bottles. Only one company, Maharashtra-based Biocrux India Pvt Ltd, has come forward with a proposal to install 10 RVMs,” Prasanna Venkatesh told TNIE.
Explaining the initiative, the civic chief said RVMs installed in metropolitan cities, such as New Delhi and Mumbai, failed to serve the purpose as the machines provided gift coupons that could be used for mobile recharge or at a shopping mall.
“To make the scheme a success in Vijayawada, we have planned to install RVMs that dispense chocolates for a deposit of plastic bottles and other hard plastic materials.”
One vending machine has the capacity to store up to 400 plastic bottles at a time, after which maintenance workers would’ve to clear them out. A worker would be assigned for the maintenance of the vending machines.
During the night hours, the machines might be switched off for safety purposes. At present, the firm entrusted with the task was busy identifying suitable locations and works might begin in coming weeks, Venkatesh added.