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New purpose in life for humble sludge with Brandix magic

20
Nov '07
Construction bricks made from primary sludge generated by industrial waste conversion, will form the walls of a new vocational training centre for the differently-abled in Sri Lanka in an initiative that showcases innovation, environmental conservation and caring by two apparel sector giants, Sri Lanka's Brandix Group and the UK's Marks & Spencer along with other suppliers to Marks & Spencer in Sri Lanka.

The first consignment of these unique bricks developed and produced by Brandix Finishing at Ratmalana after extensive research and testing, have been donated to Rehab Lanka by Brandix for the construction of a two storied training centre cum workshop near the Khettarama Cricket Stadium. The project is funded by Marks & Start, the flagship community programme of Marks & Spencer.

Made out of primary sludge, used pumice stones and silica waste from the sand used for sandblasting during the garment washing, dyeing and finishing processes at Brandix Finishing, these solid bricks have a compressive strength of 3.2 Newtons per square millimetre, more than double that of the standard concrete blocks used in construction.

Significantly, the cost of production per brick at just Rs 14 (excluding the savings that would otherwise be incurred on disposing of the sludge) is more than two and a half times lower than the Rs 37 at which concrete blocks of the same size are retailed in the market.

“The conversion of solid waste into bricks carries many notable advantages,” said Hilary Nath, Head of Environment Management and Research at Brandix. “A large volume of primary sludge is generated in the garment washing industry, and this project enables us to recycle most of it and contribute to the preservation of the environment. Additionally, we are producing high quality building material at a very low cost.”


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