Conscious Citizens Manage Their Wet Waste Responsibly- You Can Too!

Composting at home
Image used for representation only

In a bid to reduce the pressure on recycling centers and waste dumping grounds in the city, the PCMC (Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation) recently issued notices to announce that they will no longer collect wet-waste door to door on a free basis.

As a consequence, the waste generated by households and other establishments will have to be managed at source.

With over 23,449 tonne of solid waste generated daily in urban areas, Maharashtra is the country’s biggest waste generator.

Pune alone generates 1500 tonnes of solid waste including 500 tonnes from PCMC on a daily basis.

In 2008 the PMC launched a partnership with Solid Waste Collection and Handling (SWaCH), India’s first fully self-owned waste-pickers cooperative.

The authorities have allowed a 5% tax rebate in corporation taxes to encourage composting.

Every individual on an average produces around 600gms of domestic waste per day that includes over 350gms of wet waste that can be easily managed…

Although solid waste management one of the major problems that is plaguing the city, not much has been done to spread awareness about handling the segregated waste at source.

A research by the World Resource Institute also suggested that waste management is one of the problems that the city needs to efficiently deal with. Although, Pune is on a path of transformation, it lacks durability.

Laxmi Narayan, Founder of KKPKP and SWaCH added that decentralized waste management is definitely practiced here more than any other places, however, there is no uniformity in the policies that are made.

“Everyone should be expected to segregate, pay a user fee, compost their waste as closer to the point of generation, otherwise it becomes unfair on the part of others.

The municipality should enforce it more consistently across the city. Also, the municipality must invest in infrastructure so that composting can happen in a more decentralized manner,” Laxmi Narayan added.

Image courtesy: www.bagtoearth.com

“As a practice, I try and reduce the quantum of wet waste generated by me personally. For the rest, I collect fruit and vegetables scraps and make sure is processed properly,” says Rajinder Kaur, a lifestyle coach.

“There is nothing more toxic than the increased amount of carbon-dioxide in the environment hence we should help reduce it in any way possible.

We use a stainless steel kitchen compost pile like a dustbin to discard all our leftovers and wet waste which has a sealed cover to reduce the sink to the minimum. Plastic air tight containers also work well here.

“We then dig up a small pit in a small area (mini garden), chop the waste into smaller pieces (to help them breakdown faster) and then cover it up with the dug-up earth or dried leaves.

I also add some water to the compost during summers. This has also helped me nourish a lot of plants in my house since we create rich dark compost that is very good for plant health,” she explains.

What to add to the compost pile:

Fruit and Vegetable scraps, tea and coffee remains/bags, garden waste, paper, wood shavings, egg shells, hay, left over food (this will make the compost stink so reduce the amount of food waste going to the compost bin), grass, corn cobs etc.

What not to add:

Fish scraps, meat and bones, pet manure, plastic waste, diseased plants, non-biodegraded waste, bio-hazards, medical waste, glass, cheese etc.

Priya Meghani explains how she manages her waste at her terrace or balcony. “I am currently using an earthen pot (used to store water) with multiple holes for the oxygen to pass through. The pot (any container with holes and lid) is then lined with paper, kitchen waste, garden waste etc mixing the brown and the greens well.

“Mixing should be done every two days to help them decompose faster.  It usually takes 60-90 days to become manure for the plants. I also add some good bacteria in the form of curd or buttermilk to help in composting. The trick is to keep adding the brown (dry organic waste) and the greens (wet waste) in proportion.

The more wet the mixture is, the more it will attract fruit flies, maggots and ants. I also add some turmeric in the mixture and line the container below too to avoid ants.”

“What I do for my flat is to use the indoor composting bins that I bought from an online website,” shares Bidita Mukherjee, a home maker and gardening enthusiast.

“I add the waste in equal proportions of wet and dry waste along with the compost maker that come along with the composting bins. An adequate amount of the compost maker is needed every time you put waste in the bin.

After a bin is filled completely, I store it at the corner of the balcony and use the other bin till the first one creates the manure in a couple of weeks.  The composter dispenses a liquid that can be used as an organic fertiliser for plants or for cleaning bathroom floors and tiles too.

“The manure generated should be used with soil while potting the plants. A lot of patience, consistency and dedication is required to see your waste reduce to zero,” adds Mukherjee.

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#All views expressed are those of the respondent’s and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.

Loveleen Kaur

Loveleen Kaur

She loves travelling, dogs, sarcasm, humour and anything that spells F O O D, in that order. A writer on a journey to make positive stories a morning ritual and give society what it needs the most - optimism !!

Reach her at loveleen@pune365.com or tweet @KaurKaur18
Loveleen Kaur

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