Koramangala residents turn dry leaves into fertilisers

Green innovation

A resident welfare association in the city has found an innovative way to transform dry leaves into fertilisers for farms and gardens. 

Kora3B Compost, a not-for-profit initiative by the Koramangala 3rd Block Resident Welfare Association, is helping home gardeners, urban farmers and nurseries with rich-quality nutrients for their plants. 

The streets of Bengaluru generate truckloads of leaf and garden waste every autumn, which is usually sent to landfill sites or burnt in street corners, polluting the city. The association is now transforming it into green wealth. 

They have collaborated with the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike (BBMP) and collect leaf litter and provide the space for composting. In a day, at least a tonne of leaves is processed. 

"It began in 2013 as a small effort by some residents of our locality who wanted a solution for the burning of dry leaves in the neighbourhood that resulted in smoke and stench," said Ajai Tirumalai, a volunteer. 

The foundation was laid by Anil Chinmiah, a businessman passionate about doing his bit for the environment. Initially, the members did not know much about composting but learned it through trial and error. 

"Today our process is very simple. BBMP workers collect the leaves and drop them at our space. We pile up the leaves and put water and cow dung to them. Once a month, we turn the pile," said Tirumalai who is a software engineer by profession. 

The leaves thus undergo natural aerobic composting and are converted into high-quality organic leaf compost. The compost is poured back for residential purposes and is sold to urban farmers, terrace gardeners and nurseries. 

Kora3B Compost has flourished in the last six years. The association has sold over 800 tonnes of compost and processed over 1,500 tonnes of leaves. Kora3B Compost processes over 300 tonnes of leaves in a year. 

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Koramangala residents turn dry leaves into fertilisers

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