Brahmapuram dumping yard, an unmitigated disaster

The waste arriving at the plant daily had also increased exponentially from around 135 tonnes in 2008 to 383 tonnes in 2018

Councillors across party lines agreed that the Brahmapuram dumping yard was an unmitigated disaster. “The operation of the Brahmapuram yard, right from collection of waste to transporting and weighing, is unscientific. It has become a white elephant that is emptying our coffers, but solutions will have to be found,” said UDF councillor P.D. Martin, chairman, welfare standing committee.

“The Corporation should have encouraged and promoted the treatment of biodegradable waste at the source. The waste-to-energy plant cannot be seen as a remedy, when little has been done to reduce the volume of waste taken to Brahmapuram,” said Opposition councillor V.P. Chandran.

The waste arriving at the plant daily had also increased exponentially from around 135 tonnes in 2008 to 383 tonnes in 2018, Mr. Chandran said. This could have been avoided if managing waste at the source was encouraged by the corporation.

Plant nearly defunct

The waste treatment plant, which had a capacity of 250 tonnes per day, at the yard was in poor shape and was processing little waste, he said. For the nearly defunct waste management plant, the corporation was shelling out an average of ₹35 lakh per month at a rate of ₹550 per tonne of biodegradable waste, councillor C.K. Peter pointed out. Roughly 233 tonnes of biodegradable waste arrived at the plant daily, he said, quoting from figures available with the corporation, but there was no clarity on the amount of compost generated or sold.

Discussions at the State level had found that in-situ processing would not work for non-biodegradable waste, necessitating a centralised system like the waste-to-energy plant, Mayor Soumini Jain countered. While Brahmapuram remained a disaster, the waste-to-energy plant was plagued by delays and had made no progress in years, Congress councillor A.B. Sabu said.

The corporation was also paying large sums to rent lorries that transport waste – around ₹6.56 crore last year alone, Mr. Peter said. The cost of transporting had doubled from an amount of ₹3.25 crore in 2015, when rates were calculated per day instead of the current system of calculating by weight of waste transported.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 3:12:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/brahmapuram-dumping-yard-an-unmitigated-disaster/article30976081.ece

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