If space is a major constraint in your community and all that you are left with is your basement or very little space out in the open, Tallboy from Rite-ways Enviro Private Limited, Bengaluru, can get you going instantly.
While I rate its vertical space utilisation the best of its features, speed of the process and simplicity of the method involving low labour are added advantages. What more, it gives you that lovely compost—utterly black and earthy!
Tallboy is paired up with a pulveriser which not just chips and shreds, but pulverises the kitchen waste and dry leaves. It is efficiently designed and takes up very little space in a corner. Fitted with a 5-hp motor, it takes care of 80-100 kgs in one hour. Neeraj Srivastava of Rite-Ways says: “It’s a robust, rugged and heavy-duty machine and is easy to work with.”
Tallboy is nothing but a stand with 16 ringed hooks into which inverted water bottle containers have to be inserted. The mouth of the container is closed and the bottom portion is cut open to let the air in. Each container can take in 18-20 kgs of pulverised waste. That would mean the entire stand can hold up to 300 kgs. You will also need a crate or a shallow container to collect the pulverised waste. Three stands take about 50 sqft of space.
This method is aerobic and you can compost both vegetarian and non-vegetarian waste.
Segregated kitchen waste is pulverised along with a few handfuls of sawdust or cocopeat to take out the moisture content. If you put dry leaves, these two components—sawdust (or cocopeat) and dry leaves—will add enough brown content to the matrix; in other words, carbon content. If you add both these substrates while puliversing, that takes away the need to mix all the three ingredients later. So train your housekeeping staff in this particular aspect and make their job easy.
To this mix, add a few spoons of Bacterite sold by Rite-Ways. It’s a potent mix of micro-organisms which will accelerate the decomposition process in no time. Fill the container with the mix while leaving the top 2-3 inches free. Insert it into a Tallboy ring and let it stay there for 15 days.
“Bacterite has a long shelf-life of four to five years. There’s no harm if it gets exposed to sunlight or moisture,” says Neeraj.
The speed of composting
“The compost comes out in 15 days,” says Neeraj. Please note that it’s the pulveriser which speeds up the process by breaking down the raw material into almost chutney-like consistency. What could have taken at least 7-10 days for the bacteria is done by the pulveriser in a matter of minutes.
No leachate loss, no moisturising necessary
Any method involving draining of leachate wishes away a great deal of nutritive value. It also means management hassle as you have to keep draining it out periodically to eliminate bad odour. It can also mess up, stain the composting area. Tallboy spares you this labour and helps you keep the area spic and span.
Secondly, once you fill the containers with the pulverised content, you do not have to keep on moisturising it to get microbial activity going unless it is extremely dry and hot. Again, this convenience takes away the need to keep on checking each container and sprinkle water when it goes dry. “All these factors help in reducing labour cost. A 100-home community will need just one housekeeper to do a couple of hours of work,” says Neeraj.
You will buy sawdust only once
Once you take out the first batch of compost, you can use the same instead of sawdust (or cocopeat). Since the primary purpose here is to take out the moisture content, you will have to dry the required quantity of compost before using.
Please note: Please do not dry the rest of the compost. Let it be moist so that microbial activity goes on even after you harvest the compost. If you dry it in the sun, the activity comes to a halt. All your effort to enrich your garden using a microbes-rich compost will be rendered wasteful.
Compost texture and look
When I went to Rite-Ways office in Jalahalli, a barrel filled with Tallboy compost was a treat to the eyes. It was so black and wonderfully smelling. However, as I have already written in other posts, what goes in decides what comes out. Please ensure that you add enough dry leaves to get a balanced carbon:nitrogen ratio.
Pleasing. You can construct a simple roof if you are placing it in the open.
Rodent & odour issues
According to Priyesh Wanjare, microbiologist, Rite-Ways, he hasn’t received any complaints with regard to rodents invading the containers. “The one placed on the office premises is safe from any rodent attack,” he adds.
Odour issues? None.
The number of Tallboys needed for 100 homes
You will need three containers per day if you are generating almost 50-55 kgs of waste in a 100-home community. One stand will fill up in almost five days and hence, three stands are needed to compost 15 days’ of waste.
Capital and operational expenditure break-up given by the vendor for a 100-home community generating approximately 50-60 kgs of kitchen waste.
Capital expenditure (as on December 2014)
- Pulveriser: Rs 1,68,000.
- Cost of one Tallboy stand: Rs 26,800.
- Total number of Tallboys needed for a 100-home community: 3. (3 x 26,800 = Rs 80,400).
- Total: Rs 1,68,000 + Rs 80,400 = Rs 2,48,400.
- Capex / home = Rs 2,484.
Apart from power consumption for pulverising 50-60 kgs of waste, there is no other spending: Rs 15/day. Please note: labour cost not included.
- Opex / home = Rs 15 x 30 days shared by 100 homes: Rs 4.5 / home.
Returns: ~20 kg compost per day ⇒ Rs 5/Kg x 20 Kg ⇒ Rs 100/day ⇒ Rs 3,000/ month + no BBMP/disposal charges.
Compost buy-back offer
Rite-Ways buys back compost from you. “We can buy back if the quality is good. Bulk procurement rate is Rs 3 to 5,” says Neeraj.
Rite-Ways Enviro Private Limited, #43, 2nd Floor, 9th Cross, Sharadamba Nagar, Jalahalli Village, Bangalore 560013, Karnataka, India. T: +91 80 2345 2279 | +91 9945.801.176 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org | riteways.net | rite-ways.com.