BETTER TOMORROW

Saving tomorrow ( Part 3B of 3)

In my earlier post I had shared a few societies in Mumbai who have made the difference by getting into community composting. Last Sunday I got chance to listen directly from residents of one society  which is actively doing it for almost two years.

This is about #Torino CHS, #Hiranandani Garden, Powai and thanks to NGO #Sahaas & #Kshitija Surve for arranging this awareness session. Sahaas helps societies in their journey to manage waste; this was taken up by them without any such relationship but more to understand how this society had managed it.

So for those who would like to actually implement it in their society, some learnings from that session:

  • It is possible to 100+ families on board even if the mix includes tenants.
  • Volunteering team with mix of different age groups esp Senior members and children is helpful in this journey along with support of housekeeping staff for daily operations and processing.
  • Clear categorization guidance is helpful to avoid mixing and also clarify different view points if any.
  • Different waste bins/ color coding for different type of Garbage.
  • Organic waste put up for composting within premises. No odour issues.
  • Other than biomedical waste, the balance is segregated and sold by housekeeping staff with proceeds allocated to them which ensures better monitoring.
  • Use of prepared compost as brown material for subsequent batches.
  • Process continues in current environment as well as weather.

Along with the bigger impact which each society can create with this on waste management, sustainability and environment; it also has small perk of rebate on property tax after meeting some waste reduction parameters.

Race to ‘-1’ : Day 344

Link to previous day : https://preetymundhra.com/2020/07/11/creating-black-gold-in-your-society-and-saving-tomorrow-part-3-of-3/

BETTER TOMORROW

Creating Black Gold in your society and saving tomorrow (Part 3 of 3)

At times it is not possible to do composting at home due to space constraint or other reasons. Or some contribute at society level if that is more effective. Some housing societies have successfully reduced the wet waste going out of society in last few years. They did it either on their own or by using help of waste management companies.

garbage carry

Image by Mike Pinkerton from Pixabay

These are few names I came across in Mumbai. Feel free to add more and expand this list so that others can benefit from the learning here:

  Location Some details
Kanchan Nalanda CHS Ltd Malad 2016 onwards- biocompost pit in society managed by external agency and separate bins to household.
Vijay Nagar Housing Society Andheri 2015 onwards- Separate dustbins for dry, wet and other waste, and six compost pits set up with wet and dry waste managed by NGO’s. Manure produced is retailed under Harit Vasundhara Brand.
Whispering Palms-6 Lokhandwala, Kandivali (E) 2018 onwards- automatic composting machine.
Matoshree Pearl Mahim 2018 onwards- Bio composter used to facilitate the natural process of composting.
Malhar Co-operative Housing Society Goregaon

(Source : TOI, DNA, Betterindia)

Does you also do something similar at society level? Do share your experience.

Race to ‘-1’: Day 345

Link to previous Day :  https://preetymundhra.com/2020/07/10/creating-black-gold-and-saving-tomorrow-part-2-of-3/

BETTER TOMORROW

Creating Black Gold and saving tomorrow (Part 2 of 3)

Composting is made easier by readily available containers with required holes as well as add on ingredients to accelerate composting or managing airflow & mix to keep odour away.

Buying a new composter is one time carbon footprint of getting additional resource but will go a long way in reducing methane emissions, help waste reduction and better environment conditions  for people who are involved in disposal of waste at landfills.

There are multiple providers available on amazon and betterindia shoppe. I am a DIY user as of now and haven’t bought any composting products. But came across found the information on  below ones interesting which you can explore as a starter if that makes it easier for you.

  • Dailydump provides stacked composting container popularly called khamba. It was started in in 2006 by Ms. Poonam Bir Kasturi and is currently supplying in India and Dubai. Initiative and vision as well as practice on waste reduction for 14 years is quite commendable effort & help for helping the waste reduction journey.
  • Smartbin and Ecobin are like a composting cum kitchen bin which makes it convenient to keep it inside kitchen and avoid hassle of putting the bin outside.

So by either DIY as provided in previous post or ready options like above or any other you can convert the below into a black gold and save tomorrow.

foodwaste

Image by Ben Kerckx from Pixabay

Race to ‘-1’: Day 346

Link to previous day : https://preetymundhra.com/2020/07/07/creating-black-gold-part-1-of-3/

BETTER TOMORROW

Creating Black Gold ( Part 1 of 3)

Yes, it can be done in an apartment without disturbing your neighbours. There are many online tutorials, blogs and videos available on this. Below are my top 3 choices which I found useful. In case you have been planning for a long time and do it by yourself, so this is where you can get started with

NameLinkContent
#Gardenuphttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iw3rtPDwAIYProcess as well as some common FAQ and troubleshooting.
#Vani Murthyhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VrS12R1_vYProcess and ingredients clearly defined, by the compost queen.
#UrbanGardeninghttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDIVpJgjoXQAlong with composting process it shows progress/ changes over the timeline.
get started small

Image by M. Maggs from Pixabay

Also listing down common terms which you may hear :

Greens: This is what we are trying to convert into the black gold and avoid going out of our house in garbage. These are all the fruit/vegetable peels and cores including any uncooked rotten fruit/vegetable. As a beginner cooked food is generally avoided to be added in the process to avoid odour and attracting ants or other pests.

Browns: This is mostly dry leaves or little soil which you can get from any garden or from below trees around you. Cardboard and paper in shredded or small pieces can also be added, but its better to recycle them for some other uses.

Accelerator:  These can be things available in your home like curd,  butter milk  or jaggery or one which can be procured by searching for composting accelerator on amazon.in.

Race to ‘-1’ : Day 347

Link to previous day : https://preetymundhra.com/2020/07/06/have-you-collected-this-black-gold/

BETTER TOMORROW

Have you collected this black gold ?

After you start segregating waste into the three broad categories- wet, dry and hazardous ( some cities and countries do it in multiple types, lets first start with three broad ones), second simple step is handle the wet waste at our homes. Completely under our control either by:

  • DIY methods. ( Lot of online information available. Will share the information and links of top 3 which I found useful). I am not a process or user expert in it but I had one major concern before starting this which was the fear of odour. Let me assure that if you are keeping it covered and follow the right mix of greens ( uncooked fruit and vegetable waste which provide nitrogen) and browns ( dry leaves, paper, cardboard, saw dust, soil etc which provide oxygen) ; then you need not worry on it. In general ratio of 1 of Green and 2-3 of brown is suggested for good composting as well as no odour.
  • Composter providers. (They provide options where you can even process cooked food waste and need not worry about collecting browns. I will list down the names in my next post and relevant links.)

This is what is the end result whichever method we prefer- the #BLACKGOLD, better and  sustainable tomorrow.

compost

Image by Joke vander Leij from Pixabay

Incase the above is not possible due to space constraints or other constraints within the house there are two things:

  • Doing composting at society level (This is start sooner if not home composting , so its time we at least start the process).
  • Try using the app sharewaste ( mostly its users are overseas but it can be used by anyone anywhere).

So are you ready to pick 1 of the 4 ?

Race to ‘-1’ : Day 348

Link to previous day : https://preetymundhra.com/2020/07/05/is-there-a-simple-step-which-can-make-a-big-difference/

BETTER TOMORROW

The truth of land and water, Did you know?

Even though rules say every household needs to segregate waste but there are a states where segregation is 0%-99%. The reason could be on account of not being aware or willing. Let me address the first part on awareness.

waste bins

Image by TIm S from Pixabay

 

Key to tackling waste all across is the first simple step of #segregation of waste.  Some cities have mandated & have fines to specifically follow rules (primarily wet waste, dry waste and hazardous waste) and in some citizens took proactive steps and got it done.

It was hard to appreciate the impact of this when it initially started years back in my city. It was quite later that I understood that this makes a lot of difference in #environmental impact and our #health on how each of these is handled.

So when waste is not segregated then this is what happens ?

  • Ground/River water contamination from the leachate discharge at landfills (we actually drink that after filtering)
  • Foul smell for those close to the landfills
  • Unstable weather for all
  • Dumpyard fires for all
  • More diseases for all

And if we segregate it makes handling it easier and along with avoiding above outcomes, waste is converted to resources, livelihood and a #bettertomorrow:

  • Wet waste can be composted which is the alternative for fertilizers.
  • Some cities ( and also individual households) generate biogas from wet waste.
  • Dry waste which includes paper, plastic, glass, metal etc can be recycled.

So is the choice is easy ? Segregate or mix.

Race to ‘-1’ : Day 349

Link to previous day : https://preetymundhra.com/2020/07/04/what-different-cities-in-india-did-to-handle-the-waste/

BETTER TOMORROW

What different Cities in India did to handle the waste?

Last post didn’t have images we would want to see. But at the same time the problem on managing the garbage and ever increasing city waste is a problem we all know.

However, there are also some bright spots exhibited by some cities which tells us again that it is difficult but it is possible with collective efforts.

Ambikapur, Indore and Panchgani have after years of efforts has reached 100% waste segregation with Ambikapur being a zero landfill city. Two of these are very small cities to say but then we can begin by focussing on areas we live in.

These cities made this possible with :

  • Waste segregation at household or bulk generator level into three broad categories.
  • Training programs on segregation and composting.
  • Waste collection and disposal through SHG with infrastructure support by way of tippers / other transportation modes with compartments to ensure that segregated waste continues segregated by the time it reaches for processing.
  • User fee collection
  • Instead of waste going to landfills- wet waste used for composting, biogas etc , plastic waste for cement/ road and others segregated and sold to different user segments.
  • Active participation of elected representatives, religious/ non-religious leaders, community based organizations, general public.
  • Perspective of waste changed to everyone’s responsibility and waste to be used as a resource.

Race to ‘-1’ : Day 350

Link to previous day – https://preetymundhra.com/2020/07/02/which-of-below-image-we-want-to-see-again/

 

 

BETTER TOMORROW

Which of below image we want to see again?

Picture 1: What is a landfill everyone must have known and seen. Most look similar to below:

landfill-879437_1920 (1)source : Image by Pasi Mäenpää from Pixabay

Picture 2: How it looks near our homes if we are lucky to be far far away from a landfill :

garbage-4597233_1920 (1)source : Image by zibik from Pixabay

Picture 3: Do you know some simple steps by each of us can make it like below :

sea-162617_1920 (1)source: Image by Max Heckmann from Pixabay

So which one would you continue with and which one should you continue with :

  • Would
  • Should

In case you would like to be have image 3 whether, watch this space for simple steps which you can take to make that happen.

Race to -1 : Day 351

Link to previous day : https://preetymundhra.com/2020/06/25/does-food-require-so-much-thought/

 

 

BETTER TOMORROW

Does food require so much thought?

Race to ‘-1’ : Day 352

Ramya came to city to meet her friend.

In the city she saw how easy it was to order any food delivered online and it was delivered at home- be it cooked or uncooked.

At the same time she saw that it was a normal for people to leave the food half finished in their plates. Ramya wondered unless the bad was not edible, what could be the reason that when so many children had to suffer malnutrition and many people hunger; how was it so convenient for people to just throw the cooked edible food.

She asked her friend who said it’s okay, there’s plenty. But will this plenty continue forever. And are we realizing the real cost of air, water and land contamination which we are taking for granted.

Hard work and the effort of the entire community which brings it to us the growers ( facing the risk of both drought and floods) to all in supply chain.

And finally where does all this waste end up in – dustbin>>> Garbage Collection >> Either composting or Landfill or lost & mixed in transit.

If there is so much at stake then how can we think about wasting any cooked food.

What should Ramya tell her friend ?

Hunger    I    Malnutrition I Health

Drought   I    Flood

Agricommunity  I Supply chain

Wastage   I Resources   I  Water    I   Landfills

BETTER TOMORROW

Why Food waste is priority vs Plastics ?

Race to ‘-1’ : Day 353

Most types of plastic are a serious environmental challenge. Then why focusing on kitchen and food waste ?

Answer : Relationship which food has with each of us is rooted deeper. Even if that is true, thats is not the answer you would want to listen.

So lets put it this way- Lot of plastic journey is very closely linked to the food journey. All the packaging we get from fruits and vegetables to all packed stuff.

For me, it all started with concern on

  • How to manage with limited resources for long time in lockdown ?
  • What if garbage with food waste being 50% of that is not collected?
  • Even if collected, it is not treated/ disposed in the appropriate manner ?
  • The hazards of disposing it and effects thereof.
  • At the same time the need to know what are the other uses which can help optimally utilize the resources and create minimal waste.

The supply chain thankfully kept running after initial hiccups in lockdown for most of us but this was a great learning for appreciating the entire food value chain to leftover treatment value chain.

It is quite interesting to learn that so much can be done on this:

  • Food usage itself- All peels are not to be thrown.
  • Leftovers as cleaners – Got introduced to #bioenzymes.
  • Remaining as food for FOOD we eat- making #compost.

Contd..

Link to previous day 354 : https://preetymundhra.com/2020/06/21/why-only-18-practice-composting/