Kochi

Faulty windrow composting led to Brahmapuram crisis: PCB

It is impossible to follow a scientific windrow pattern at Brahmapuram plant as the entire site premise has been overfilled with legacy waste, according to SLMC.

It is impossible to follow a scientific windrow pattern at Brahmapuram plant as the entire site premise has been overfilled with legacy waste, according to SLMC.  

The rectification of the now defunct windrow composting plant will provide the Kochi Corporation with a solution with regard to the treatment of biodegradable waste at its Brahmapuram yard till the proposed waste-to-energy plant becomes a reality, according to the State Pollution Control Board (PCB).

A report submitted by the State Level Monitoring Committee (SLMC) to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on the sorry state of affairs at Brahmapuram revealed the present condition of the windrow composting plant at the dumping site. “Basically, the solid waste processing plant at Brahamapuram is a windrow composting plant, housed in paved floor having roofed structure with open sides. This structure itself has partly collapsed and represents a safety hazard,” it said.

Board officials who visited the plant in February pointed out that all the windrow sheds were in a dilapidated condition. “The drains provided were found to be blocked with hard slurry flowing from the windrow compost yards and the primary biodegradable dumping area. Though corporation officials had reported that the work on drains around the facility was almost complete, it was found that the drains were partially open, and that there was every chance of slurry oozing out from the open dumping sites as well as stormwater intrusion into the drains,” they said.

The report said the solid waste management facility at Brahmapuram was granted with conditional authorisation (valid up to April 30, 2010). Thereafter, the facility has not been functioning scientifically thanks to improper management. Moreover, it is in a deplorable condition.

“At present, there are 23 windrow heaps instead of 40 windrows essentially required. No satisfactory shuffling for their aeration was done, and the sheds were seen collapsed. Almost all the windrow sheds were found to be in a dilapidated condition due to uneven settlement of foundations/constructional failures,” the report said.

According to the Solid Waste Management Rules, the windrow compost plant should be properly enclosed and protected with sufficient roofing. Inspections by the PCB revealed that there was no windrow formation plan. Windrow size is not being followed. It is impossible to follow a scientific windrow pattern or windrow turning pattern as the entire site premise has been overfilled with legacy waste, it observed.

Trommel screens (used to separate materials) are not working. The shortage of trommel units has resulted in reduced production of compost compared to the quantity of waste brought to the yard, according to the report.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2020 7:29:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/faulty-windrow-composting-led-to-brahmapuram-crisis-pcb/article31044626.ece

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