P&G, SWaCH to recycle sanitary napkin waste generated in city

Neha Basudkar
Monday, 8 October 2018

Harshad Barde of SWaCH said, “With rising use of sanitary pads, the waste generated is more than the solid waste generated in the city.”

PUNE: According to SWaCH, per day 48.3 tonnes of sanitary waste is generated in the city and out of this, around 50 per cent goes into the landfill as two out of the 14 sanitary napkins incinerators installed by Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) in the city have shut down. Now, PMC, in a joint venture with Procter & Gamble (P&G) and SWaCH are coming up with a unit for recycling sanitary napkins in the city. Initially, the pilot project will be launched in Aundh.

Harshad Barde of SWaCH said if the waste keeps on increasing rapidly at this rate, no solution is found to curb it. Actually, with rising use of sanitary pads, the waste generated is more than the solid waste generated in the city.

However, Dnyaneshwar Molak, PMC, Joint Commissioner for Waste Management said not one per cent of the sanitary waste goes into the landfill but it is burnt in the incinerator unit installed at Ghole Road.

Molak said, “We will be soon installing a unit of recycling sanitary napkins in a joint venture with P&G company and SWaCH as P&G recently gave the proposal. Meanwhile, a pilot project will be launched in Aundh to know how much sanitary napkins are collected per day by the ‘ghanta gaadi’  and based on that logistics city’s quantum per day will be taken out.”

“These collected sanitary napkins will be treated in existing way. Later when the proposal is accepted, the recycling of the sanitary napkins will start,” Molak added. 

Barde said, “Once the unit is installed, sanitary napkins will be segregated into three to four parts and used as a compost and they have invented a technology that can turn 100 per cent of napkins into valuable material like plastic cellulose and absorbent material. The technology will sanitise the napkins then separate the various materials used in their construction. Each tonne of used hygienic material produces about 150 kilograms of cellulose, 75 kg of mixed plastic and 75 kg of absorbent material.”

Shyamala Desai, Secretary of the National Society for Clean Cities (NSCC), Pune, is totally against the idea of incinerators. Desai said, “From 2015 I have been running from pillar to post in PMC asking the officials to treat the sanitary napkin waste like biomedical waste, the way Pasco company does. It collects the biomedical waste in three-colour coded bags including yellow (for incineration), red (shredding or recycling or landfill) and white (sharp and glass material) that is chemically treated and sent to hazardous treatment plant located at Ranjangaon)through incinerators used at crematoriums. The gases released from the incinerators are harmful and not approved by MPCB. If they are recycled then it is well and good.”

“In 2015, we ran a campaign on Laxmi Road distributing yellow bags which indicates human waste colour code to people. Later we distributed it in schools, institutions and hospitals. But nothing positive came out of that because there is no proper collection and reuse of it. Finally, the human waste goes into the landfill,” she added.

Related News