Stop dumping of waste from other local bodies, says PCB

Board’s recommendation placed before SLMC

The State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) has recommended a halt to the dumping of waste generated in local bodies other than Kochi Corporation at the Brahmapuram yard to tide over the worsening ecological situation at the site.

Five municipalities and three panchayats have been transporting their biodegradable waste to Brahmapuram for long. They are Angamaly, Aluva, Kalamassery, Thrikkakara and Thripunitura municipalities and Vadavucode-Puthencruz, Cheranalloor and Kumbalanghi panchayats.

Despite several directives issued by the State Level Monitoring Committee (SLMC) on Solid Waste Management and the board, the civic bodies had failed to evolve their own mechanism to process waste. The board’s recommendation has been placed before the SLMC for follow-up action. Waste collection from other local bodies may be stopped, as they are also duty-bound to manage waste. The local bodies have been violating the provisions of the Municipal Solid Waste Rules, 2000, according to the report.

Call for action

The board recommended that immediate action be taken to revamp the solid waste management facility at Brahmapuram in view of the fact that it remains a long-pending issue. Leachate collection and treatment shall be immediately resumed. The leachate problem will turn severe with the onset of monsoon. Fresh loads of biodegradable waste were found being dumped over heaps of old waste at the site on a daily basis, it said.

Joint visit

Plastic waste was found dumped openly along the south-east portion at the time of the SLMC-board joint visit on March 3. No facilities were available to process it, except for a shed that is not capable of accommodating the entire plastic waste brought to the yard. The shredding machine installed was seen kept idle. A small portion of waste is being transferred to some outside agencies for further processing, but the quantity or agency details are not obtained from officials.

On the recurring fire breakouts, the board recalled the lack of action on the part of the corporation to check them. A study by the National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology following the major fire on February 23, 2019 had found that the levels of dioxin observed in residual ash samples analysed after the incident were in the range observed in various infamous waste dumping sites in Vietnam, Philippines, Cambodia, Netherlands, Greece, and the United States.

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