Decentralised management of solid waste yet to pick up in Ernakulam

Systems set up by some local bodies have turned defunct

The efforts to implement and sustain decentralised systems for solid waste management have not yet picked up in Ernakulam despite tall claims by local bodies.

Only a handful of local bodies have been found to be managing decentralised systems such as biogas plants, bio-bins, Thumboormuzhi-model aerobic bins, and vermicompost units in the district. An assessment by the Department of Local Self Government held last week has revealed that the decentralised systems initiated by some of the local bodies have turned defunct. The Suchitwa Mission has been told to provide technical support to the local bodies to make it operational.

According to official estimates, the biogas plants in Manjapra, Koovapady and Pallipuram were not working. These panchayats had set up a unit having the capacity to treat 0.25 tonnes of waste per day. The lack of maintenance and proper monitoring had resulted in the poor functioning of the biogas plants. The local bodies have requested government support in reviving the decentralised models of waste management.

The Aluva municipality was found to be lagging behind in setting up Thumboormuzhi-model aerobic units. The civic body, which received a poor rating for waste collection from households and institutions, have been told to explore ways to revive such decentralised systems to treat waste at its source.

The Thumboormuzhi-model unit in Kumbalanghi was also found not working properly. The previous samithi had taken efforts to operate it, but no concrete measures were taken to sustain its working after the formation of the new council in December last, according to the assessment by the Local Self Government Department.

The Kochi Corporation has also been asked to promote division-level decentralised models of waste management. The move is expected to reduce the burden on the defunct solid waste management plant in Brahmapuram. The new council has proposed biogas and other source-level waste management systems.

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