Expert point out flaws in waste processing plants

With communities living around many waste management plants complaining about odour and mismanagement, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had sought the help of a waste management expert to streamline things at processing plants and suggest Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to be put in place.

Following an inspection of two plants — the Karnataka Compost Development Corporation (KCDC) plant and the plant at Chikkanagamangala, the expert, N.K. Kuttiappan, executive president of LVK Environment Consultants, Coimbatore, has submitted his interim report, which, according to BBMP sources, is being examined by the Technical Guidance Committee (TGC).

Officials said that in the interim report, Mr. Kuttiappan has noted that the constitution of waste received at KCDC is a lot wetter than the one sent to the Chikkanagamangala plant. The report suggests that the KCDC waste requires the liquid to be drained before being mixed with leaf waste and sent to the compost pits. This could mitigate the odour to a large extent.

The report also notes that the height and width of windrows (piling of wet waste in rows for composting) should be maintained as per the prescribed standards. This will ensure there is adequate space for air circulation, which is not being done at the Chikkanagamangala plant, officials said.

BBMP officials said there will be no odour if the waste collected reaches the plant within 24 hours. The BBMP’s Solid Waste Management (SWM) Cell has now directed the officials concerned to ensure that bulk waste does not reach the processing plants.

The civic body had got the waste composition tested by a laboratory accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories. The same samples were retested by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board laboratory. Both reports have been sent to the expert and the TGC, sources said.

BBMP Special Commissioner (SWM) D. Randeep said the TGC would deliberate on the final report from the expert and firm up the SOP needed to be put in place based on waste characterisation. This apart, the civic body is also mulling over setting up laboratories to study waste at all plants. “Apart from SOP based on waste characterisation, we will also probably have plant-based SOPs by the end of the month,” he said.

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