Gurugram Creating a rainwater harvesting system for the city and using plastic waste for constructing more arterial roads will be the main focus of Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) in 2019, municipal commissioner Yashpal Yadav said, adding that the success of these initiatives will go a long way in ridding the city of a few of some of its most pressing problems—waste disposal, countering pollution and checking urban flooding. Yadav said the MCG has already hired a private agency which will be responsible for identifying government buildings and public spaces where the new rainwater harvesting systems would be built and installing such systems in individual households, an option, he states, may need to be made mandatory in the near future.“Gurugram has 700-750mm of rainwater annually. Almost all of it goes waste in the absence of proper (harvesting) systems in place. The quantity of rainwater is high. It can be used to recharge the depleting groundwater table and to meet the water shortage during the summer. One of our main focuses this year is to ensure such a large volume of rainwater does not go to waste,” Yadav said.He added that if the project goes as per schedule it will be one of the “biggest and defining” recycling projects undertaken by the MCG.There are more than 2.5 lakh real estate properties under the MCG’s jurisdiction.Another thing the residents can look forward to this year, Yaadv said, is a long-term solution to the problem of substandard and broken roads by utilizing plastic waste for constructing and repairing roads. “Plastic waste has been found to be far sturdier substance for road building than bitumen as plastic does not absorb water and hence prevents roads from accumulating water and stops the formation of potholes. So far, the experiment has been carried out on a 100-metre stretch in Sector 51 with positive results. We are looking to replicate its use in stretches across the city,” Yadav said.As per MCG officials, the city collects 20 tonnes of plastic waste on a daily basis, 2.2% of the total 900 tonnes of waste produced per day, which would be enough to construct a 10-kilometre-long road.Yadav added that the method has been approved by the Indian Road Congress (IRC), the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), and used extensively in the southern states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The MCG has a 300-km-long road network under its jurisdiction. THE TURNING POINT OF 2018Starting the door-to-door collection of waste In December 2017, the door-to-door waste collection scheme was started from wards 5 and 6. Under this scheme, residents have to segregate and then discard their organic and non-organic waste in separate bags. A staffer of Ecogreen, the concessionaire for the project, then collects this waste from the doorstep. In the next 12 months, all 35 MCG wards were covered.Yadav said the initiative of door-to-door waste collection acts is a precursor to creating energy from waste at Bandhwari, where a waste-to-energy (WTE) plant is being set up.According to officials of the Urban Local Bodies (ULB) department, the Bandhwari waste plant, which has been lying defunct for nearly six years, is expected to process waste from June this year.