Chennai Corporation has started assessing the value of 50 lakh tonnes of waste accumulated in Perungudi and Kodungaiyur. This is the first step towards reversing the environmental damage caused in the areas.
IIT-Madras will complete a study of waste characterisation in the dumpyards to create a baseline data of pollution, quantity of compost, plastics, metal, inert materials, contamination in the water and amount of methane gas. Methane gas collected from the dumpyards will be used as fuel. As part of the study, the civic body will be able to estimate the monetary value of the accumulated waste in the dumpyards for the first time in three decades.
The report on waste characterisation will be used by the civic body for remediation of the dumpyards. Remediation will reverse the environmental damage caused to the city because of unscientific dumping of waste.
IIT-Madras will collect samples by drilling more than 25 feet deep as part of the study. The civic body is planning to carry out bio mining to leach out minerals without causing damage to the environment. A huge quantity of compost could be collected using mechanical sieves. This can be sold as fertiliser for farms in case the results of the study declare a low level of contamination.
At a meeting this week, Chennai Corporation asked IIT-Madras to give priority to completion of the work on Kodungaiyur dumpyard. “IIT-Madras is likely to submit the study in a month,” said an official. A number of residents in R.K. Nagar have reported public health problems caused by the dumpyard in the vicinity.
Perambur MLA A. Soundararajan said a number of residents from Perambur and R.K. Nagar were affected because of Chennai Corporation’s dumpyard in Kodungaiyur.
“We have requested the government to solve the challenges faced by residents near dumpyards. The government has not fulfilled the promise made earlier. The effort to use technology has to be made quickly,” he said.