Kochi Corp to biomine ‘legacy waste’ at Brahmapuram, sell bio residue as compost

However, Pollution Control Board tests showed that the bio residue so obtained is not fit to be used as fertiliser.
Kochi Corp to biomine ‘legacy waste’ at Brahmapuram, sell bio residue as compost
Kochi Corp to biomine ‘legacy waste’ at Brahmapuram, sell bio residue as compost
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Kochi Corporation has finally taken the first step to dispose ‘legacy waste’, piled up over the years at the massive waste dump in Brahmapuram. On the direction of Kerala State Level Monitoring Committee (SLMC) appointed by National Green Tribunal, the local body has decided to start biomining of the old municipal solid waste and use its bio residue as compost.  

The procedure involves screening of garbage using trommel machines to separate organic residues and inert/plastic substances. The organic residues so collected can be used as manure.

Though known as Brahmapuram waste management plant, it has only been acting as a large garbage dump for many years. The garbage heaps spread across 16 acres of land have been posing a threat to people with recurrent fire outbreaks.

The guidelines for the disposal of Legal Waste (old municipal waste), published by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in February 2019, describes biomining as a method to dispose piled up garbage.“Corporation has given sanction for the project. We have also decided to sell this bio-residue which can be used as compost. Already there are heaps of compost piled up there, that would also be sold,” said Health Standing Committee Chairperson Prathibha Ansari.

‘The compost lacks fertiliser value’

Kochi Metro Rail Limited has proposed to the local body that they would buy the compost from Corporation. According to reports, the local body gave nod for the proposal. This will be used to grow ornamental flowers along the metro medians.  

But a sample test conducted by Kerala State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) officials revealed that the bio-residue formed after biomining does not have fertiliser value. “This residue does not even meet the Nitrogen Phosphate Potassium (NPK) value required for fertiliser,” sources in KSPCB told TNM.

Raw material for proposed waste to energy plant

The local body has planned to use the inert residue received after biomining procedure as the raw material for the proposed waste to energy plant. This could mean that garbage heaps will not be removed from Brahmapuram, rather biomining could only help in separating organic residues from the waste.

“We have asked the Corporation not to wait for the completion of waste to energy plant’s construction, and have asked them to find other solutions to dispose of the plastic waste. Garbage heaps have been dumped here since the past many years and how can we further delay clearing it off,” retired Justice AV Ramakrishna Pillai, chairman of the SLMC told TNM.

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