Surgeon promoting home composting

Surgeon promoting home composting

He has made it his mission to encourage composting of wet waste in southern Bengaluru.

A clay composting bin at Dr Venugopal’s house.

Dr Venugopal B, consultant and orthopaedic surgeon, had no idea his wife has been composting domestic waste for two years.

It was only during a course titled Self-Expression Leadership Programme (SELP), as part of which he had to do a project, that he found out.

Dr Venugopal B

With his newfound knowledge, he decided to work on cleaning up the Konanakunte area, a southern Bengaluru neighbourhood.

He now devotes time and energy to promoting the cause.

“Most people are surprised to know how easy it is to compost your home waste. In fact, I was astonished when I first learnt about it,” he says. 

During his research, he realised that 60 to 70 per cent of the waste at home is food and the remaining plastic.

“It’s mandatory to segregate your wet and dry waste, according to government rules. So instead of throwing your wet waste into a regular waste bin, throw it into a compost bin. Three to four weeks later, you get really good black manure for your kitchen garden,” explains Venugopal.

Dumping of waste is a major problem in our city. Many leave their domestic waste on roads. The BBMP doesn’t have a great record in garbage management either.

Because of the magnitude of the problem, landfills on the outskirts of the city are producing poisonous methane gas and the odour adds to air pollution. 

The government is looking for more villages near Bengaluru to dump waste, but that is not the way to go. The BBMP should start a composting system, he suggests. “But that seems like a far fetched wish, so we are trying our best to convince citizens to make a change at home,” he says. 

Though he has to shuttle between his clinics during weekends, he keeps his Sundays free to spread awareness.

“I have been meeting various associations and clubs on Sundays and teaching them about home composting. About 20 people have taken up the initiative. Whenever I can, I tell my patients also about it, in the hope that they might want to join the cause too,” he told Metrolife

He has also been talking to shopkeepers but they complain customers throw cups and plastic wrapping everywhere. 

“My son, an eighth standard student, had to grow a plant using different types of soil and fertilisers as part of a school project. By the end of the project, he was proud that the soil with home compost had the most growth,” he says.

If a little student can understand the importance of home composting, citizens can do their bit for the environment, and with pride, he says. 

Small steps to turn waste into wealth
“Start home composting and in a few weeks, you can use the manure for your plants. Use the waste as best as you can. As for the plastic, collect it in a bin and every couple of weeks, take it to the vendor nearby for recycling. You can also make money this way,” says Dr Venugopal.

Benefits of home composting
- It’s dead simple.

- Does not call for too much space.

- No mosquito breeding.

- No water and bad odour.

For ready home compost kits
- Order them on sites such as Amazon and Flipkart.

- Daily Dump, conservation group: 98801 28011

- Soil & Health, social enterprise: 98456 90778

Upcoming meetings
- January 22: Home composting demo by Vasuki Iyengar at Adarsh Mahila Samaj, Konanakunte.
- Compost awareness meet at Srinidhi Layout, and at JP Nagar Senior Citizen Club scheduled in February.

Call Dr Venugopal on 984557 12363 for tips and composting advice.