From spoil to soil

Composting waste

From spoil to soil
For many, compost pits still bring back memories of textbooks and school lessons. Even though there were not many takers for this till recently, composting is taking on a whole new meaning today.  
   
With rising concerns like  garbage management and overflowing landfills, there is an increasing awareness about this healthy way of waste management  among individuals and organisations alike.

Prasanna Vynatheya, a software engineer and a nature conservationist, says that
the composting initiative at Brigade Millennium (where he resides) has been getting a lot of positive reviews. 

“We have five blocks out of which two have compost pits. Composting is definitely becoming important and a need of the hour. This can be done in-house or onsite like in colleges and apartments. If a person is opting for in-house composting, they can use the compost for gardening or even donate it to parks and other public places,” he says.

However, he highlights that making composting mandatory for every apartment can be a catch-22 situation, given that there is less or no extra space in some apartments these days as well as in individual houses.

“Compost pits take a lot of space and need proper and extensive maintenance. But if there is enough room for a pit, I agree that composting should be made an essential part of every household,” says Prasanna. He adds, “We at Bangalore Apartments’ Federation are coming up with a team to study and advise different apartments on how to  adapt to composting.”

At the time when Bengalurueans are taking up measures like garbage segregation, composting is seen as a way to make people aware of  the concept of ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ as well as preventing the overflowing of landfills.

‘Daily Dump’ is a venture that helps individuals to compost at home and also spreads awareness  about segregation and waste management. “Composting is becoming a necessity and should be incentivised. A large percentage of waste that is generated at home is wet waste, which can be turned into useful fertiliser,” says Poonam Bir Kasturi, the founder of the venture.

‘Hasiru Dala Innovations Private Limited’ is a social enterprise that has taken various initiatives for proper waste management in the city. Shekar Prabhakar, the managing director, points out that 70 percent of local waste that is produced every day is that of wet waste, which is easily decomposable.

“Since the bulk is huge, transportation of these wastes to far off composting or biogas plants leaves behind a lot of carbon footprint. This is why we suggest people to go for in-house composting. However, there are a lot of challenges that come with it. Like if it is not done properly, it can give out a bad smell and attract rodents and insects. But individuals can network with farmers and send their compost to the farms, ” he says.

Today with all kinds of technology available, composting has become much easier. However, the applicability still lies on the commitment of a community.

 Shekar says that though most people are aware of waste management and are becoming responsible, there are still many who lack the knowledge or the will to implement this technique.

“Even if an individual is able to go for ward-level composting, it will be a great step in segregation of waste and reducing landfills,” says  Shekar.

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