How to Compost Kitchen Waste

by Krishanu

With the Swachh Society Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan underway, for apartment management it is vital to ensure that you treat waste effectively. This is one of the things, society manager should take responsibility of. But it is also the responsibility of individual apartment owners to treat waste at their end. Project Green Diamond by Diamond District is one such success story of waste management.

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Urban Indian citizen generates nearly 250 KG per year of solid waste, which is around 700 grams each day. More than half of what we throw recklessly in dustbins can be recycled or composted and used as top soil for plants.  What most end up doing is mixing the dry and wet waste and dumping them together in common waste bins. Municipal corporations across the country are only able to compost 0.21% of the wet waste thrown away by households.

In technical terms, composting is the process of breaking down food waste in the presence of air and water, using micro-organisms and small insects present in nature. The end product of this is compost which can be used as plant nutrient forming a part of healthy soil.

There are 6 easy steps in which you can compost your kitchen waste in your Balcony or in your backyard garden:

  1. Collect all your edible kitchen waste (vegetable peels, fruit peels, small amounts of waste cooked food, etc) in a container.
  2. In another container, collect dry organic matter like dried leaves and sawdust.
  3. Take a bucket or a large earthen pot and drill 4 – 5 holes around the container at different levels to allow air to pass through.
  4. Layer the bottom of pot or bucket with soil.
  5. The food waste collected (step 1) and dry organic matter (step 2) should be added to the pot or bucket. This should be in layers alternating.
  6. Lastly, cover the container with a plastic sheet or a plank of wood to help retain moisture and heat.

Every week, take a tool and give the pile of mixture a turn to provide aeration. Upon observation, if you find the pile to be too dry then sprinkle some water to moisten it. Within 2 to 3 months, the pile will start forming a compost which is dry, dark brown and smelling of earth. If an average family comprises of 4 members and if they undertake composting regularly then they can reduce the waste from 1000 KG to 100 KG.

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