Leachate being released at apartment blocks
Published on: Thursday, June 03, 2021
By: Sidney Skinner
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The outlet for the drain around the bin-center may be blocked with bits of rubbish.
City Hall is in the process of addressing the irregularities involving some of the compactors servicing a Karamunsing neighbourhood, as well as a bin centre in one part of the State Capital.

This follows complaints from two rate-payers about the leachate which soiled the roads in their areas.

Leachate is the stinking liquid which drains from rotting waste or is produced when rubbish is compressed.

Both were unhappy about the foul odour which lingered in the air. In the case of the bin centre, the leachate was even damaging the road near this facility.

They provided Hotline with the names of the roads in question. This information was forwarded to the agency.

A spokesman for City Hall’s Solid Waste Management Department said checks were made of these areas, shortly after the agency learned about these problems.

He said each of its compactors had been equipped with a receptacle into which the leachate was drained.

“As such, there is no need for the driver to periodically release the leachate from the vehicle onto the roads, or into the housing drains, for the Karamunsing neighbourhood,” he said.

The compactors are examined daily to ensure they remain road-worthy.

He suspected that the leachate might have overflowed from this container because it had not been properly closed.

“Our staff have been reminded to check that the nozzle for the leachate-tank is properly secured at all times.

“We are also having the containers for the compactors going to the area looked over, in case they may have been damaged by the leachate.”

He explained that the acidic content of this foul-smelling liquid was likely to have caused these receptacles to rust in places.

“Any tanks which are corroded will be attended to. If they are beyond repair, then we will have to arrange to buy replacements.”

On top of this, the spokesman said the agency would monitor the performance of the garbage collectors to ensure that rate-payers in this part of Karamunsing were being properly served.

When asked how often maintenance was performed on the compactors, he said this was done everyday.

“So long as the vehicles are road-worthy we have to keep it running in order to meet our garbage collection schedule,” he said.

“There are no spare compactors at the moment which we can use in its place, if it is sent to the workshop.”

JON of Karamunsing said traces of leachate could often be found on the road in front of the apartments where he stayed.

“I am forced to keep my doors and windows shut to prevent the stench from getting inside my unit,” he said.

“I cannot understand why the compactor driver has to release the leachate between our apartment blocks. 

“This can be done at the drain along the main road, near the turn-off at the apartments.”

He said there were no residential or commercial buildings at this junction.

Jon also bemoaned the din caused when the rubbish was compressed.

“The noise disrupts our sleep as the compactors always come in the wee hours.

“Can’t the rubbish be cleared during the day when we are less likely to be woken up by this ruckus?”

He related his displeasure about the collection service to City Hall in May.

“Two days after making this report, I heard the compactors entering the apartments around 11am.

“Prior to contacting the agency, the garbage from my area had been cleared at about 4.40am.” 

Jon commended the City Hall staff who dealt with him for being attentive to his grievance.

“I didn’t get a whiff of any foul smell, when the compactors came in the morning. 

“I hope the authority will be more proactive in doing something about the trails of leachate left behind the vehicles that come to my area.”

Meanwhile, the agency will step up efforts to clean the road around a bin centre in the Segama area of the City to minimise the nuisance created by the stench here.

The spokesman said there was a small drain around this facility, which was meant to channel away the leachate. 

He said City Hall’s street-cleaning team had been instructed to wash away any traces of leachate left behind by its garbage compactors.

“These staff have been asked to hose down the area outside the bin centre on a daily basis, he said.”

“There may be a problem with the outlet, or the flow of the run-off inside, which is why the stinking liquid is finding its way onto the stretch.”

He said the City Hall’s Engineering Department (ED) would have to deliberate over how best to solve these potential drainage problems.

An ED spokesman said its personnel would be sent to verify this matter.

THIEN, who runs a shop in Segama, suspected that the smelly nuisance might be due to infrequency with which the area around the bin centre was hosed down.

“When it is cleaned, the force of the water used to clean the stretch might have pushed small bits of rubbish into the outlet between the structure and the road,” he said.

“The foul liquid may be ponding on the road because the outlet for the drain is blocked.” 

He said potholes had formed in the stretch where the leachate was pooling.

“Earlier this year, this damage was repaired but the ponding problem still remains.”



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