Body Wisdom

Home composting

Every city is fighting with rising garbage levels. Many city corporations are struggling keeping up with the enormous amounts of waste generated. In many cities, kitchen waste, dry waste and toxic waste get mixed up and dumped in landfills which are toxic and destroy the health of the environment and people. So, how can citizens help to alleviate the problem?

Garden city to garbage city?

One of the battles we fight here in Bangalore is garbage. The city once known as Garden City is now called Garbage city because of the amount of garbage that piles up every day on the street corners.

There are multiple reasons for this. The situation is similar in many other cities and towns across India and pretty much exists in most developing countries. Although the developed world looks cleaner and you don’t spot garbage on the roadside, it does not necessarily mean that they have disposed it responsibly.

What can we do?

The most common, sensible thing to do with garbage is to firstly, segregate at source so that all of the dry waste is sent for recycling. What remains would mostly be the wet waste or organic waste which is also called as kitchen waste. Dealing with wet waste needs to happen within 24 hours else it would start decomposing and create unwanted odour and then lead to insect infestation.

Home composting of kitchen waste

Home composting is the best solution for any home or community/hotels etc. looking for managing their waste responsibly and not having to depend on the Safari karamchaari or Pourakarmikas to come and pick up the waste from your doorstep. Home composting or in-situ composting generates rich organic mature that can be used for kitchen gardening.

The methods could be aerobic or anaerobic composting depending on what suits you. A third option is installing a biogas plant at home which can handle a part (not all) of the kitchen waste.

In aerobic composting, we simple take a well-aerated container such as a bucket with holes drilled. We create a bed of 4 inches using dry leaves and coco-peat or sawdust. Then we start putting the kitchen waste every day into this and covering or layering it with coco-peat. For about 1 to 2 inches of kitchen waste that is put into the bin, an inch of coco-peat should be used to cover it up. Once the bin is full, cover this with a porous lid and leave it aside for about 45 days. In the meantime, while the bacteria are busy converting the food waste into compost, start a second bin and then a third one until the first is fully done over a 45 days period.

Depending on the volume of waste generated and the capacity of the bins, one may need 3 to 4 bins to handle the daily waste. This way the rich compost or black gold that comes out at the end of the cycle can be used for growing plants in the garden. If one does not have a garden, the compost can be used in parks or used for public areas where there are plants and trees. This will only enrich the top soil.

Image credit:jokevanderleij8via Pixabay

If composting is mandated by law, this would ensure much cleaner cities, better decentralized ways of waste management and also enrich our soil to be able to grow organic food.

The link gives details of how one can "Start a Green Spot" at home. This is a pledge that one can take. More than a million people have taken the pledge to go for home composting and keep waste away from going to landfills.

Will you make your pledge?

Veena Rajappa

(About Veena Rajappa: Veena is a Computer Science graduate with 22 years of experience in the software industry. Besides working full time, she runs her NGO - RISE FOUNDATION to create awareness and actions around scientific waste management  and has been succesful in bringing about waste segregation in more than 25,000 homes in her locality since 2012.)


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01:16 PM | 19-06-2019

It's really a great initiative .Everything that nature provides us gives us something even after dying that's it's beauty . I ll surely try to adopt this in my life and will share this idea with others too. Thankyou .

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