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Transforming urban waste into construction blocks for a sanitation infrastructure: A step towards addressing rural open defecation

Publication Type : Conference Proceedings

Thematic Areas : Humanitarian-Robotics-HCI

Publisher : IEEEXplore

Source : 2017 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC), IEEE, San Jose, CA, USA, p.1-9 (2017)

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Keywords : brick, civic administrators, coconut oil, Composites, design engineering, economic sustainability, Environmental factors, Health hazards, health threats, high-density polyethylene, India, interlocking block, interlocking bricks method, interlocking construction blocks, low-density polyethylene, Mechanical factors, Mechanical properties, plastic waste, Plastics, polyethylene, Polymers, Raw materials, Recycling, rice husk, rural open defecation, Rural sanitation infrastructure, sand, sanitary engineering, sanitation infrastructure, saw dust, sawdust, sociology, Soil, Statistics, Sustainability, Sustainable development, Thermal properties, toilet structure design, urban plastic waste, Urban waste management, Waste management, waste reduction

Campus : Amritapuri

School : School for Sustainable Futures, School of Engineering

Center : Ammachi labs, Amrita Center for Wireless Networks and Applications (AmritaWNA), Humanitarian Technology (HuT) Labs

Department : Civil, Sustainable Development

Year : 2017

Abstract : Developing nations like India face major challenges in their developmental efforts due to issues related to waste management and open defecation. While the urban community faces challenges related to plastic waste which has become almost all pervasive, the rural counterpart's open defecation continues to pose significant health threats. Lack of large-scale utilization of plastic from the urban population has been a challenge for civic administrators. The state is same as the rural population in terms of adequate sanitation infrastructure due to the cost of raw materials and lack of skilled workers. This paper discusses a potential solution to address these issues in concern; i.e. transforming urban plastic waste into interlocking construction blocks and then to construct low-cost, rapid build toilets. A study was conducted to examine the effectiveness of using LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene), HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) (major sources of waste) with easily procurable materials like sand, rice husk and saw dust, in different proportions to create the interlocking blocks. The study included a comparison of the mechanical and thermal properties of different proportions of raw materials to find the optimum composition. The paper also discusses the design and construction of toilet structure based on the (1) acceptance of the rural community, (2) construction with interlocking bricks method, and (3) availability of resources. The environmental and economic sustainability advantages of the proposed solution with very minimum skills, fewer construction materials, and shorter build time as compared to conventional methods have also been explored in this paper.

Cite this Research Publication : H. T. Mohan, L. Masson, Dr. Sreevalsa Kolathayar, Dr. Anil Kumar Sharma, Monish K, Krishnan, A. G., S. K. Thiviya, and R. Mohan, “Transforming Urban Waste into Construction Blocks for a Sanitation Infrastructure: A Step towards Addressing rural Open Defecation”, 2017 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC). IEEE, San Jose, CA, USA, pp. 1-9, 2017.

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