22 March 2023 The Hindu Editorial & Analysis

Playing with fire: On the Brahmapuram fire and how Kerala needs to have a relook at its waste-processing

Kerala must discard centralised waste-processing and reduce its trash mountains

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The landfill fire in Brahmapuram, on March 2, has turned the spotlight on the State’s ineffectual solid-waste management practices – from a widespread lack of waste segregation at source to discrepancies between contractors’ actions to maintain the landfill and their obligations. This was not the first fire at Brahmapuram. Studies by the CSIR-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology, in 2019 and 2020, concluded that the many fires released highly toxic substances into their surroundings; they are also likely to have been released in this fire. These facts indicate two problems solid waste accumulated at the site, and it was not removed quickly enough. And, also, two kinds of failure. First, Kochi’s solid-waste management apparatus is too tenuous for the amount of waste it produces and the Brahmapuram waste-to-energy plant is dysfunctional. The former is a pan-India problem, due to overconsumption, low resource-use efficiency, and not handling such waste properly. Solid waste can be biodegradable, when it is composted, or nonbiodegradable, when it is repurposed, combusted, or landfilled. Such waste does not go anywhere else; so, if any of these three channels are clogged, waste will collect in the others. This is why landfills are signs of urban dysfunction. The second kind has to do with waste not being removed efficiently from stockpiles- by feeding it into waste-to-energy plants and by recovering commercially important metals, refuse- derived fuel, and bio-soil and by storing the flammable waste in a way that would not prevent fires.

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The Brahmapuram plant appears to have been in the State’s blind spot. Such facilities work only when the relatively more expensive power they produce will be purchased; the amount of combustible waste they receive is proportional to the amount of purchasable power they can produce; and the waste they receive has sufficient caloric content to produce that power. The plant is dysfunctional: the State must explain why and revive it. Also needed are answers about the landfilling and biomining contracts, why contractors failed their obligations, and why course-correction was not effected sooner. It is of concern that the State overlooked Supreme Court and National Green Tribunal orders to prevent such fires. Corruption in the face of the climate crisis beggars cynicism. Finally, Kerala needs to discard centralised waste-processing in favour of the decentralised mode encouraged by its Solid Waste Management Policy. The State is unlikely to meet its goal of being waste-free by 2026 if it does not achieve its circular economies, which it will not unless its trash mountains dwindle instead of becoming climate pollutants in their own right.

The Hindu Vocabulary PDF 2022

1. Play with fire (phrase) – to engage in a risky; dangerous activity that could have serious consequences. जोखिम भरे काम करना

2. Relook (verb) to review, reconsider or reassess something पुनर्विचार करना

3. Waste-processing (noun) – the methods and techniques used for managing, treating and disposing of different types of waste materials in an environmentally safe and sustainable manner.

4. Discard (verb) – dispose of, throw away, get rid of, discard – त्यागना

5. Centralised (adjective) (of an activity or – organization) controlled by a single authority or managed in one place. – केंद्रिकृत

6. Trash (noun) – garbage, waste, refuse, rubbish कचरा

7. Landfill (noun) – the disposal of waste material by burying it, especially as a method of filling in and reclaiming excavated pits. कूड़ाखाना

8. Turn the spotlight on (phrase) – to focus on or bring attention to someone or something. पर ध्यान केंद्रित करना

9. Ineffectual (adjective) – ineffective, futile, useless, inefficient – अप्रभावी

10. Practice (noun) – Habit, custom, tradition, way, system, procedure, manner, – कार्य

11. Widespread (adjective) – extensive, prevalent, general, common, pervasive व्यापक

12. Segregation (noun) – separation, sorting, division, partition अलगाव

13. At source (phrase) – at the point of origin, at the starting point, at the beginning उद्गम स्थल पर

14. Discrepancy (noun) – inconsistency, difference, variation, disparity – असंगति

15. Obligation (noun) – duty, responsibility,

commitment दायित्व

16. Conclude (verb) – determine, deduce, infer, judge निष्कर्ष निकालना

17. Toxic (adjective) – poisonous, harmful, noxious, deadly विषेला

18. Surrounding (noun) – environment, ambiance, locality, neighborhood Rder/ आस-पास का वातावरण

19. Likely (adjective) – probable, possible, expected संभावना

20. Accumulate (verb) – gather, amass, collect, pile upmechanism – जमा होना

21. Apparatus (noun) – system, arrangement, regime, mechanism – तंत्र

22. Tenuous (adjective) – fragile, weak, delicate, flimsy कमजोर

23. Dysfunctional (adjective) – not working, defective, faulty, broken असंचालित, बेकार / खराब

24. The former (noun) – Here it refers to ‘solid waste accumulated at the site’

25. Pan-India (adjective) – All over in India अखिल भारतीय

26. Overconsumption (nou n)– the action or fact of consuming something to excess. अत्यधिक खपत

27. Efficiency (noun) Efficacy, effectiveness, proficiency कार्यक्षमता

28. Biodegradable (adjective) – decomposable, perishable, rotting, disintegrating – घटनशील

29. Compost (verb) – decay, decompose, break down, rot खाद तैयार करना

30. Non-biodegradable (adjective) – non- decomposable, synthetic, inorganic, persistent अजैव घटनशील न होने वाला

The Hindu Vocabulary PDF with Hindi Meaning

31. Repurpose (verb) – reuse, recycle, convert, transform पुन:उपयोग करना

32. Combust (verb) – burn, ignite, flare up, incinerate दहन करना

33. Channel (noun) – a method or system; medium प्रणाली

34. Clog (verb) – Block, obstruct, congest, jam अवरुद्ध होना / रोकना

35. Dysfunction (noun) – breakdown, failure, malfunction

36. Stockpile (noun) – a large accumulated pile of something भंडार

37. Feed (into) (verb) to insert or input something into something, such as a machine.

38. Refuse-derived fuel (RDF) (noun) – a type of fuel produced from various types of waste materials, including municipal solid waste, industrial waste, and commercial waste.

39. Bio-soil (noun) – a soil-like material produced by the microbial degradation of organic waste

40. Flammable (adjective) – burnable, inflammable, combustible, ignitable

41. Blind spot (phrase) – Lack of awareness, hidden area, unnoticed point

42. Facilities (plural noun) – the buildings, equipment, and services provided for a particular purpose.

43. Combustible (adjective) flammable, inflammable, ignitable, and burnable दहनशील, शीघ्र जलनेवाला

44. Proportional (adjective) – Corresponding, related, commensurate, balanced – समानुपातिक

45. Caloric (adjective) relating to or – associated with heat

46. Revive (verb) – revitalize, renew, restore, refresh, reawaken पूर्वरूप में लाना / पुनर्जीवित करना

47. Biomining (noun) – the process of extracting metals from ores or waste by using microorganisms to oxidize the metals, producing soluble compounds.

48. Course-correction (noun) – a change made to something in order to correct or improve it

49. Effect (verb) – To implement, bring about अमल में लाना

50. Concern (noun) – Anxiety, worry, apprehension fear चिंता

51. Overlook (verb) – fail to notice, ignore, neglect देखी अनदेखी / नज़रअंदाज़ करना

52. In the face of (phrase) – despite, in spite of, confronted with, faced with -disbelief –

53. Beggar belief (phrase) – to be so great in some way that it cannot be described/belief

54. Cynicism (noun) distrust, doubt, – pessimism, skepticism, disbelief – उदासीनता

55. Encourage (verb) – promote, stimulate, support, foster, urge प्रोत्साहित करना

56. Meet (verb) – fulfil, achieve, accomplish – पूरा करना

57. Circular economy (noun) – an economic system based on the reuse and regeneration of materials or products, especially as a means of continuing production in a sustainable or environmentally friendly way.

58. Dwindle (verb) – diminish, decrease, reduce, get smaller, कम करना

59. Pollutant (noun) – A substance that pollutes something; especially one that causes harm to living organisms or the environment प्रदूषक

60. In their own right (phrase) – Through one’s own talents or efforts. अपनी प्रतिभा या प्रयासों के माध्यम से

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