Community composting method-7: Marigold composter for an efficient solar solution

Marigol solar composter from Prudent Eco Systems, Bengaluru.

Marigol solar composters designed by Prudent Eco Systems, Bengaluru.

With 300 sun-blessed days in a year, any solar solution makes absolute sense in India, doesn’t it? When it comes to community composting, how about a composter that relies only on sunlight to get things going?

Marigold solar composter is a brainchild of Bengaluru-based Ravindra Karnad, IIT-Kanpur, Prudent Eco Systems Private Limited. Continue reading

Delhi landfill crisis: Can AAP show the way?

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An image of the Hindustan Times article on Delhi’s garbage crisis published a few months ago.

From the current 9,200 tonnes or 2,300 truckloads, in less than a decade, the capital city of India will have to grapple with 19,100 tonnes or 4,775 truckloads of garbage. According to a parliamentary panel report highlighted by Hindustan Times, Delhiites living on the fringes are refusing to give away their living space to open new landfills. Four landfills have already become stinking heaps. This toxic legacy notwithstanding, the officials’ hope for fixing new landfill sites seems never-ending.

Sounds more like the tale our own beloved Bengaluru? Continue reading

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Fully automatic composting machines: Let the buyer beware

Just Google “fully automatic composting machines”, a number of companies making out-of-the-world claims pop up instantly. Among them, “composting in 24 hours” is the most common.

I have been approached by a few vendors in Bengaluru to write about their products as a community composting method. When I met them, each vendor made different claims although all of them ran on similar technology. Continue reading

Will San Francisco, Seattle & New York shame Bengaluru into composting?

Photo credit: EcoWatch.

Photo credit: EcoWatch.

This couldn’t have gotten better for those who have been trying to decentralise waste management in Bengaluru and championing composting as the best way to recycle wet waste in the city faced with unprecedented landfill crisis. At least now they can draw support from the US—so far known for its highest per capita garbage generation—for its fantastic composting mandates in many cities and push their cause forward saying, “Yes, we can!” Continue reading

A little bit of science on how composting happens

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Ever wondered why an ice cream box frozen at subzero conditions goes stale and begins to smell bad? It’s actually the presence of anaerobes that thrive even at -2°C. Micro-organisms can be present at extreme temperatures: At -2 °C, and also at 122 °C.

Composting is a highly intricate process. The standard procedure takes anything between 30-45 days depending on the accelerators involved. A whole lot of work has to be done by different strains of bacteria and fungi to transform the organic material into compost. Although reams can be written about this beautiful process without which life is impossible on this planet, here’s just the gist of it. Continue reading

My own home composting experiment: It’s harvesting time!

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There is loads of joy in un-complicating every day issues. Unfortunately, we are good at diverting all our finest human qualities and energies in the opposite direction. One such issue at hand in Bengaluru is composting precious wet waste. I wanted to find my own answers and after almost 2.5 years, my experiments have helped me achieve at least this much of simplicity. I hope it gets better.

If you have already read the previous post on this experiment, let me take you straight to the harvesting episode. Continue reading

Have any doubts about the efficacy of composting? It’s time we busted some myths

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Among almost all urban farmers, interest in composting seems to be a frequent corollary of their passionate love for organic gardening, or vice versa. Bengaluru, despite being the epicentre of garbage crisis, can be distinctly conscious of this silver lining and take obvious pride in it.

That said, in our pursuit to transform food and garden waste into small black particles, have we let the art of composting sidestep the science of composting? Is this a silly, juvenile romance with composting conveniently aided by the earthy aroma of moist humus? Worst of all, are we deluding ourselves into thinking that whatever we touch becomes “Black Gold”? Continue reading