Going back to basics

Going back to basics

The government’s efforts to get people to segregate waste may have failed but many people in the City have gotten a cue from it and taken to composting in a big way. They believe in environmental conservation and are doing their bit in inspiring a lot of other people to take to composting. They feel that it is worth the time and effort.

Metrolife interacted with a few people who are into composting and asked them about how they got into it and what keeps them glued to the process.  NS Ramakanth, a resident of Seshadripuram, has set up a bio-gas plant in his house. He says that the waste that cannot be put in the plants is put into the compost pit. “I do about ten per cent of composting as all the other kitchen waste goes into my bio-gas plant,” he says. He adds that citrus fruits cannot be put into the bio-gas plant so he composts them. He adds, “Anything sour and acidic like onion peels will kill the bacteria in the plant.”

Claire Rao, a resident of Malleswaram who owns ‘kambha’, a composting kit, is happy to use her kitchen waste for composting. Inspired by a friend to take to composting, she says, “I’ve heard of people complaining about issues like lack of time and that composting triggers a bad smell but it is easy if done in an organised way.” She points out that it  takes only an hour a week to turn on the ‘kambha’ and
begin the composting process. “Once one learns to alternate the layers of wet and dry waste, the process is smooth,” she notes.

Some like Monisha Suresh, a young businesswomen, feel that in a City like Bangalore where people find waste segregation a difficult process, composting will take time to gain popularity.
   “Compost pots are a feasible option for homes. One will have to churn the whole mix once a week and this can be a bit difficult as it gets heavy but you will be doing your share towards ensuring a garbage-free City,” she says.

One of the groups that encourages composting is ‘Daily Dump’ which provide various products that makes waste segregation and composting easier. Poonam Bir Kasturi, the founder, says, “There are lots of social and behavioural issues that have to be dealt with. There has been a thrust on green measures in the last few years ever since managing garbage has become a challenge.” She feels that there has been a 30 per cent rise in composting in the last few years and hopes it keeps growing. “A lot more needs to be done,” she reasons.

Apart from composting, there are also others who have converted the concept of composting into a community affair. Pradeep E Sinnas, the civic head of Richards Town Resident’s Association, says the group understands the seriousness of waste management and made a compost pit in Richards Park about three years ago.

 “Earlier, the dried leaves in the park used to be collected and we would await the BBMP lorry to come and clear them. We felt the need of a self-supporting mechanism within the park itself,” he says. “We use the compost in the park and give it to residents for their own gardens,” he adds.

Pradeep says that it isn’t an easy task to maintain a compost pit which is above the ground and not in a pit. “Layers have to be added to the composting process. Digging a hole will cost money and the authorities aren’t ready to spend,” he says.

   “Though the project was started with the BBMP’s support, they didn’t come forward to sustain the process and sighted the lack of funds as an excuse. Continuous support is required to encourage people,” he sums up.

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