Leachate from yard frequently reaches the Karamana river
The garbage plant at Vilappilsala can effectively process only a portion of the solid waste that reaches the yard from the capital city, a report submitted by the Kerala State Pollution Control Board (PCB) to the High Court of Kerala has observed.
The plant has the capacity to process only 90 tonnes of solid waste a day.
The average quantity of waste reaching the 46-acre plant daily, until it was shut down on December 21, 2011, was around 203 tonnes, of which 114 tonnes was biodegradable waste, according to the report.
PCB environmental engineer K.R. Santhoshkumar and advocate commission K. Meera were tasked by the High Court to inspect the plant and report the facilities there.
The report further observed that the leachate flowing from two uncapped landfills inside the plant frequently reached the Karamana river through the Meenambally canal, causing river water pollution.
Although the leachate is collected in temporary ponds and treated using alum, lime and bleaching powder, these temporary measures were inadequate to check the pollution caused by the leachate.
The PCB has in its report directed the City Corporation to commission the permanent leachate treatment plant under construction inside the plant within 60 days.
The board has recommended the construction of a dike between the landfills and the stream to prevent flow of leachate into the river.
In order to control the stench emanating from the windrow composts in the plant, the PCB has recommended frequent turning of windrows or providing forced aeration. As of now the windrows are turned every five days.
Another recommendation to control the stench was providing sufficient ventilation by providing adequate number of air blowers and bio-filters.
The PCB report also makes a set of recommendations for maintaining the general hygienic conditions inside the plant.
Providing a 100 meter buffer zone around the periphery of the plant is among these.
Ensuring source level segregation of plastic and biodegradable waste and transporting garbage to the plant in covered vehicles with leachate collection facility are among the other recommendations.
The PCB report has directed the Corporation to complete all the recommended modifications at the Vilappilsala plant within 60 days.