At a time when handling of waste is posing a challenge to the municipal bodies, retired professor at St Aloysius College and the designer of vermicompost bin, S Harish Joshy has called upon the citizens to voluntarily take up the responsibility of composting waste in order to solve the impending problem. Decentralising garbage management system is the right approach to address the issue, he said.
He was speaking at a workshop and demonstration on vermicompost organised by Nirmithi Kendra at Zilla Panchayat hall on Thursday. He said that the community based garbage management system has to be introduced involving civic workers.
The municipalities should train civic workers on preparing vermicompost and assure them of giving a 50 per cent share of the compost produced.
Decentralising garbage management is the best way forward as it not only reduces the burden on municipal bodies, but also make people accountable. The system can be introduced in the form of micro entrepreneurship, he suggested.
Briefing about the benefits of vermicompost, he said it has several benefits right from improving the soil fertility to reducing environment pollution. “At least 70 to 80 per cent of the waste generated in households is organic. A house of four individuals on an average produces two kilo grams of organic waste everyday, which makes the annual waste generation approximately 800 kgs. Going by the same calculation, an apartment with 200 flats, generates one lakh kgs of organic waste anually. This waste, if recycled, will generate 72,000 kgs of vermicompost. Even if one kg of compost is sold for Rs 15, it will generate an income of Rs 10 lakh a year,” he elaborated.
Joshy narrated the success story of some of the institutions and individuals who have adopted vermicompost and said that as many 32 educational institutions, port and hospitals had taken up vermicomposting. Beggars rehabilitation centre located at Vamanjoor stands as a best example for vermicomposting. New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) which has already implemented the process, has now planned to set up a vermicompost unit that can produce 30 tonnes of compost anually.
Demonstrating the vermibin designed by him of which St Aloysius College holds the patent, he said the bin which is priced at Rs 15,000, was designed in such a way where there is enough protection for worms and lets air flow which is essential for composting. To start off with, coconut husks should be placed on the base of the unit that has two sections and pour water on it. Waste and cow dung water has to be laid on the bed in different layers and should be kept for three weeks.
Meanwhile, the content in the unit has to be turned upside down and water has to be sprinkled once in three days. Earthworms should be put to the unit (half kg worms for one unit) after three weeks and wait for another three weeks to get the compost.
Earlier, inaugurating the programme, Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer Tulasi Maddineni said that work on 17 solid waste managements yards are in progress in different gram panchayats and the ZP will set a target of constructing 50 yards in the next year.