50% of all household waste generated is wet waste. Remote working is the norm now and looking at the general trend, it’s set to become the new normal for quite some time. This means households will be producing more waste, more wet waste. COVID-19 has taught us to live clean and maintain correct hygiene procedures to stay safe from diseases. This brings us to rethink how we manage our wet waste in communities. Therefore, it’s time communities seriously consider composting. The second episode of the Neighborhoods of Tomorrow – Interactive Webinar Series saw forward thinking community leaders coming together to learn the dos and don’ts of community composting.
Composting is a practice that involves adding organic material to the soil to accelerate plant growth and enhance the quality of the soil. It is highly beneficial for our soil and the environment.
The Takeaways :
Many reports and research have shown that air and water pollution has drastically declined around the world. This has made us, as a society to think more responsibly towards the environment. Thus it is time, that we show some love and care towards our surroundings. Here are some of the major takeaways from the Webinar that was held on May 9, 2020.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has laid down specific guidelines to handle waste generated by COVID-19 patients. Additionally, it has also stated advisory on keeping places clean and safe by careful disposal of waste from quarantined households. This makes the job of sanitary workers, waste management experts and the municipality even more diligent.
And that is why, in times of coronavirus, it is better to make sure the community waste is handled internally as much as possible. In case of an infection within the community, one can rest easy that the virus shall not travel outside the gates with the waste.
There is tangible Return On Investment in Community Composting and Waste Segregation.
- The community saves thousands of rupees as fines to be paid to local governments for not managing their wastes sustainably or according to Government mandates.
- A community with 300+ units spends INR 45000 per month to get rid of their wet waste through an empaneled vendor. One time investment on Community Composting is INR 10 Lacs. Monthly expenditure comes down to INR 10000. In approximately a little more than two years, the community breaks even on the investment made. And thereafter, continues to save on waste disposal. The surplus compost generated can be sold off to relevant vendors outside the community, bringing in more revenue.
The Q&A Session :
Q1. What is the investment to start Community Composting?
A: There is a capital cost to it. Initial one time investment per family is INR 3000. And then a nominal recurring cost of INR 100-200 per family per month in a residential community. Aghas can be used for community composting. However, this is dependent on the number of units in a community. Communities larger than 1000 units need to look at other solutions.
Q2 : Can non-veg or greasy leftover food particles be composted?
A : Yes. They can be composted in Aghas. No separate process is required. The advantage of a natural method of composting is almost anything can be composted. With a machine, a lot more precaution about separating waste is required.
Q3. How should a Community go about only leaf composting?
A : Leaf composting has to be done separately in a separate composter. It’s simple. Dry leaves are dumped in a mesh structure, layered with microbes/cow dung slurry and watered daily. In the rainy season, the moisture is taken care of.
Another alternative is a simple charring kiln that can cause thermal decomposition of garden wastes in less than 15 minutes. All that is left behind is char. Coco peat is not necessary here since leaves contain enough carbon. It also helps if the leaves are shredded to reduce the volume drastically.
This Webinar is brought to you by ADDA – The Apartment SuperApp and Daily Dump. The panel was chaired by Ms. San Banerjee, CEO & Co- Founder, ADDA. You can find speaker details and check out our past and upcoming webinar episodes right here.