Zero-waste temple: This is where, my friends, God smiles!

There’s this beautiful peepal tree with its roots resting in infinity and boughs arching over the Sri Shakthi Kalyana Mahaganapathi Temple located at Kalyana Nagar, Banaswadi.

True, almost every temple or village in India has at least one such tree standing tall in all its nakedness with a lump of sacred threads wound around it. No one can say for sure what each thread would mean individually: Pain, anguish, victory, desire, devotion, gratitude, joy or frustration. But weave them together, a firm pattern of meaning emerges on its own: unconditional surrender. Continue reading

This 24-hour composter was on fire, literally!

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A simple human error resulted in this machine catching fire and damaging the roof of DSR Woodwinds apartment’s compost room six months ago. It seems beyond repair now and has been dumped in the parking lot. (Pics: SH)

This is an incident that unfolded at DSR Woodwinds apartment, Sarjapur Road. An automatic 24-hour machine given by the builder to compost kitchen waste caught fire when a staff member mistakenly switched on the machine after sundown. Within hours, the machine was spewing out flames and the roof got damaged. The smoke spread. The staff somehow managed to sneak into the compost room and put out the fire. Since then the machine, which comes loaded with promises of turning precious green waste into valuable compost, has been gathering dust in the community’s parking lot. (For more technical details on these machines, please read this post.) Continue reading

Community composting method-13: Got a tonne of kitchen waste? NeoAkruthi organic digester has the answer

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My own 2013 experiment using earthworms for kitchen waste composting turned out to be such a disaster that I decided to keep it limited only to garden waste. But when Bangalore-based Anil Kumar, MD, Akruthi Enviro Solutions Private Limited, told me that their organic waste digester uses earthworms to process even 500+ kgs of kitchen waste mixed with garden waste per day, I thought I was opening a new chapter in vermi-composting. Continue reading

Community composting method-12: A DIY model, the Brigade Regency style

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My connection with Brigade Regency (BR), an apartment located in Malleswaram, is an organic one. This is where, as a tenant, I started segregating my household waste into six categories. Being one of the very few communities that took the garbage crisis seriously back in 2007-08, it went on to find holistic solutions for all streams of waste before “sustainability” became a much-abused word. Continue reading

Community composting: If it’s costlier & fancier, does it get better?

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One of my Solid Waste Round Table Management (SWMRT) colleagues told me about an apartment which is getting ready to spend up to Rs 45 lakhs on a certain method for its in situ wet waste composting. In other cases, some companies which have succeeded in installing their 24-hour composting machines in some apartments at the cost of up to Rs 20 lakhs or more are laughing all the way to the bank.

Should a residential community invest so much in composting alone? Continue reading

Do you want 90% freedom from landfill? Here’s a model

There are two ways to look at the landfill crisis in Bangalore (or any other city for that matter). Deal with it in the most sustainable manner possible (within the available means) at a personal level. Or, join in the chorus of the multitude which does not want to participate in this change but is ready to pursue erratic paths to pointless ends.

My own community—Sobha Althea-Azalea located in Yelahanka—was a model that ToI celebrated as one of the 15 ideas to emulate in its 2014, August 15th edition. Continue reading

Community composting method-11: This fantastic DIY at Rainbow Drive is low on cost, high on delivery

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Would you ever believe that all the problems surrounding your wet and garden waste can be solved using steel mesh rings, a few cement slabs and some gunny sacks and also bring out loads of nice-smelling compost?

The answer is a resounding yes!

Continue reading