Foundry forms one of the major industrial sectors of Belgaum. It is also one of the major economies of Belgaum. There are 142 foundries at present in Belgaum, out of which 76% is small scale, 21% are medium scale & 2% are large scale foundries. The Belgaum foundries produce different types of casting ranging from 500gm to 1.8Tons. The major raw material required for foundries are sand (washed & unwashed), resin & alloys. The major loss that is incurred by the foundries is the wastage of sand as about 10-10,000Tons of sand is wasted while transporting.
This used sand is now being seen dumped on the VTU road. Just after the VTU main gate one can see such black sand being dumped on regular intervals by some foundries.
Used foundry sands are generated as solid wastes after being separated from the castings at the shakeout table. At this point, the used sand contains contaminants, such as chunks of brass, fines, and hard lumps of sand, that must be removed from the sand prior to its reuse in the making of molds.
The Belgaum Foundry Cluster Project has been sanctioned by Govt. of India under Industrial Infrastructure Upgradation Scheme (IIUS-2003) from Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MCI), New Delhi has a sand reclamation center at Santi Bastwad but not many make use of this facility which can reclam most of the sand used. Many big foundries do make use of the same but a few are also seen dumping the sand on the road sides.
The main issue with reclamation is the cost involved, many say the cost of new sand is much cheaper that cost of reclamation.
But what about preserving the ecology, by reclamation the same sand is reused. At this moment the BFC and its members are trying to get a Land site where such can be dumped, the pollution control board has also promised to look into the matter and has asked the BFC to ask the district administration for a land site.