Facility will be on one acre with 65,000-tonne capacity

With the number of industries availing themselves of its service and the quantity of waste entrusted with it annually on the rise, the Common Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facility (CHWTSDF) at Amabalamedu has started the preparation of its third landfill site.

“We have already handled 38,000 tonnes of waste from industries across the State till December this financial year. This is already an increase of 1,500 tonnes over the quantity handled during the previous fiscal. We are expecting another 7,000 tonnes by the end of this financial year,” N.K. Pillai, CEO of Kerala Enviro Infrastructure Limited, which runs the facility, told The Hindu on Friday.

The Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) and the Kerala State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) have joined hands with the CHWTSDF in the implementation of the project. The annual capacity of a cell (the landfill site developed) is about 50,000 tonnes. This means that 90 per cent of the capacity of the second cell would be utilised by the end of this financial year. Last year, Hindustan Insecticides Limited alone used the facility to clear about 7,600 tonnes of hazardous waste left over from emptying its two lagoons as instructed by the KSPCB.

The third cell will be prepared on about one acre with a 65,000-tonne capacity. Preparation of the cell is a highly technical process, involving excavation, fixing the bottom of the landfill two metres above the ground water source and a seven-layered lining as per the Central Pollution Control Board guidelines to ensure that leachate does not pollute the water table and subsoil, Mr. Pillai said. Though the CHWTSDF has 50 acres in its possession, only 20 acres can be utilised as landfill and as per the present calculations, it is likely to be exhausted in another 20 years.

Ever since the CHWTSDF started functioning in December 2008 with its first landfill on 1.5 acres, it has handled 95,000 tonnes of waste and the demand for its service has only gone up as clear from the figures.

During the last three months of 2008-09 financial year, 3,600 tonnes was collected. It went up to 18,500 tonnes during the next fiscal and almost doubled to 36,500 tonnes during the 2010-11 financial year.

Charges for the transportation and disposal of hazardous waste are fixed based on the distance from the generating unit and the nature of the waste. For normal waste, which can be disposed of straightaway, Rs. 1,200 is charged per tonne while it goes up if the waste needs treatment before disposal.

While landfill remains its core service area, the CHWTSDF has proposed an e-waste collection centre and biomedical treatment facility. Both the proposals are under the consideration of the State government, Mr. Pillai said.

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