This hostel digests its kitchen waste, grows veggies on rooftop

It is a mini green revolution at this Malleswaram hostel. Their garbage disposal model can well be replicated across the City, grappling with a crisis of gargantuan proportions.

Nothing goes out as waste from Arya Vysya Hostel that houses 48 students. Their zero waste drive is not an offshoot of the crisis, but born out of genuine environmental concern.

“It all began on June 5, the World Environment Day. We wanted to thank nature in our own way and decided to ensure zero waste through our unique contribution,” said Vinay Kumar, a commerce student at a private college here and a hostelite.

The students have not only set up a model to segregate waste, but have also shown how waste can be an useful resource. They convert the kitchen waste into compost and the same is used for growing vegetables on their 720 square-foot terrace. The dry waste is sold every month to a scrap dealer.

Noting that any effort which can help society should begin from home, the students said they started from the hostel as it was their home now. Vinay’s campaign received a boost from other residents of the hostel, studying in various colleges of the City.

“We have planted several medicinal plants and grow vegetables used in the kitchen,” said Sandeep Manjunath, a student of MSc in Agriculture Sciences. The students have grown banana, beans, brinjals and other vegetables and medicinal plants used to treat common ailments.

Two boxes are placed in each block of the four-storey building to collect paper, plastic and other dry waste.

During the Ganesha festival, they not only created awareness on the use of eco-friendly Ganeshas, but also distributed 130 idols free of cost to people.

“We distributed pamphlets regarding the harmful chemicals used in the colours to paint Ganesha idols. Then we distributed the idols, which were well received by the people,” explained Manjunath.

The students now plan to begin similar efforts in their respective colleges. They have started a page on Facebook, titled ‘Chiguru,’ to educate people regarding their activities.

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