Pune: PMC Launches Thermocole Recycling Initiative

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Pune, 9th September 2021: A joint thermocole recycling initiative of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), SWaCH Cooperative and KK Nag Pvt. Ltd. was inaugurated by Mayor Murlidhar Mohol on Tuesday. The project is aimed at sustainable management of Thermocole waste.

The 5-month pilot is already off to a great start with 7.83 Tons (7,830 Kg) of Thermocole waste collection which has saved 32 Bulk Refuse Carriers (PMC’s large tertiary transport vehicles) trips to landfills, improving the efficiency of transport and saving money for the corporation. ‘Recycole’, K.K. Nag Pvt. Ltd.’s Thermocole Recycling Initiative is going to greatly benefit from the contribution of the Pune Municipal Corporation and Pune’s waste-picker Cooperative, SWaCH. Pune will now see a sustainable Thermocole recycling system being put into place.

Total Waste Generated in PMC area: 2100 Tons Per Day

Thermocole Generation (Estimated) in Pune: 0.4 – 0.5 TPD

Thermocole Volume: 10 Kg = 1 Cubic Meter

Collection during 5-month Pilot: 7.83 Tons (783 Cu. Mt = 32 BRCs)

Considered a boon for packaging and logistics for consumer goods, Thermocole is seen as a hurdle from the solid waste management angle. While the material gets your goods to you safely, it is often found littered in streets and canals due to a lack of proper waste management systems.

This will no longer be the case as PMC, KK Nag, one of India’s largest manufacturers of Thermocole and Pune’s Swach waste-pickers cooperative are already on the way to building a sustainable Thermocole waste management model- RecyCole.

“Our goal is to ensure that there is not a single piece of used Thermocole littering the streets of PMC. We want to collect every piece, recycle it and give it a new lease of life while ensuring that our streets are clean”, said Milon K Nag, MD, K. K. Nag Pvt. Ltd.

Thermocole is a completely recyclable material. Its low weight and high volume make it the perfect packaging material. But this same quality renders it difficult to manage after goods have been safely delivered. A 1500 Kg garbage collection vehicle of the PMC can only carry around 50 Kg of Thermocole. K. K. Nag and Swach intend to ensure its safe collection, transportation and diversion to recycling in partnership with the Pune Municipal Corporation.

Swach is engaging with citizens, training its waste-pickers and PMC’s staff and monitoring the system for segregated handling of Thermocole once it is discarded by citizens. K. K. Nag is recycling all the Thermocole at its own facility, and reusing the material, thereby ensuring sustainable cradle to cradle management of its primary manufacturing produce.

Mayor stated that, “Thermocol has always been a difficult material to collect. Now, Pune Municipal Corporation, SWaCH and KK Nag have come together with a proposal to tackle this problem and ensure end to end collection helping to reduce the burden on SWM systems and economically benefit the Pune City.”

Dr Kunal Khemnar highlighted the importance of the joint initiative. “This initiative will help PMC boost its efforts to conserve Pune’s resources and save expenditure on transport and processing. This is a win-win solution. I encourage all Swach waste-pickers and PMC staff to now work together to ensure that no Thermocole is seen on the streets of Pune.”

The initiative will be implemented across Pune. Bulk generators like housing societies, commercial complexes, showrooms etc. should store at their own locations. Once Thermocole amounting to one small tempo is collected, citizens should contact SWaCH, which will coordinate collection of waste for recycling. Independent households and shops should hand over Thermocole generated in small quantities directly to waste pickers on a daily basis. Segregated Thermocole will be collected by waste-pickers and handed over to PMC’s secondary transport vehicles and stored temporarily at the PMC’s decentralized transfer stations. K.K. Nag then collects the Thermocole from such locations for recycling.

Collection Statistics: Collected by 850 waste-pickers at 150 feeder points;

Stored at 7 Transfer stations, 10 Sorting Centers, 16 societies

100+ Collection trips by K.K. Nag (so far) from decentralized locations.

“This is a replicable, scalable project complimentary to the PMC’s waste collection system operated by the Swach Cooperative, and has the potential to be the largest such recycling system in the Country. Waste-pickers already recycle over 200 Tons of waste in the city every day. This will be a further feather in their cap towards sustainability. We appeal to the citizens to segregate and hand over their Thermocole separate to Swach waste-pickers to ensure recycling”, said Harshad Barde, Director, Swach Pune Cooperative.

“The founder of our company, Mr Kalyankumar Nag, was earlier a business partner of Mr R. A. Cole in Mumbai. Together they introduced Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) in India for the first time and the original Indian patent for the product is in their joint names. Mr Nag coined the name “Thermocole” in honour of his senior partner Mr R. A. Cole – “Thermo” for heat and “Cole” for Mr R. A. Cole. Thermocole is now the generic name for EPS in India. RecyCole is a play on the original name, combining the words “Recycling” and “Thermocole”, expressed Mitali M. Nag, K. K. Nag Pvt. Ltd.

For Queries regarding recycling Thermocole – Contact Swach Helpline: +91 97659 99500;

K.K. Nag: +91 90216 19509