Legacy Trash Piles Deposit Constant Phenomenon at Facility, Report Says
The State Level Monitoring Committee (SLMC) on Solid Waste Management has informed the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that there has been no improvement in the condition of the Kochi Corporation landfill in Brahmāpuram.
The committee made this observation in its report on the fire at the site on January 18 presented to the south chamber of the court.
“During my inspection on January 20, hydrants were seen operational, and no fire or smoke was observed. There is no change in the general condition of the entire landfill, which was detailed in my previous report dated July 28, 2021,” said AV Ramakrishna Pillai, Chairman of SLMC.
The report said the solid waste dump spanned 110 acres and the land was set aside for the disposal of biodegradable, non-biodegradable waste and sludge. Huge piles of legacy waste dumps are a constant occurrence at the yard, which is under the control of the Kochi Corporation.
It is given to understand that the company had recently placed a proposal for bio-mining, which started at the entrance to the yard using some machines. However, the process proceeds at a slow pace, although the old trommel machines are also operational.
The previous proposal for a waste-to-energy plant has not materialized to date. The sludge treatment plant remains closed for repairs. As usual, plastic waste was found dumped in the open air on the southeast side as well as at the entrance. There are not enough facilities to deal with plastic waste. There is a shed, which is not able to accommodate all the plastic waste arriving in the yard, according to the report.
The head of SLMC said the plastic shredder installed at the site was found inactive as before. The January 18 fire occurred in the area where old plastic materials were stored in heaps. It’s at the southern edge of the yard. The area is bordered to the south by a tributary of the Chithrapuzha, he said.
The report says firefighters were able to extinguish the flames during the same night. However, we learn that there was emission of thick smoke due to the combustion of the plastic. The yard had witnessed similar fires in 2019, 2020 and 2021, he added.
He recalled that a study was conducted by the National Institute of Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (NIIST), Thiruvananthapuram after the 2019 fire. The level of dioxin was found to be dangerously high.