EARTHA: sturdy, durable, flies-free, odour-free, rust-free & hassle-free!

No designer or innovator should love one’s own creation to the extent that she or he becomes blind to its drawbacks. Hardly ever do we get to see a product that is complete in its first avatar itself. All products do need finetuning, don’t they? But that is possible only if the creator heeds customers’ feedback and gets back to the designing table. Eartha has emerged from that table, made multiple trips to the factory, moved through the seasons, and is now ready to weather the whims of all sorts of weather.

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SWM in apartments: Mumbai’s Green Communities Foundation keeps it simple and efficient

Endlessly Green is pleased to share these two case studies of SWM projects being executed by Mumbai-based Green Communities Foundation which is a waste management consultancy for societies and corporates. This blogpost lays bare how certain simple processes can help you execute segregation and composting in communities no matter which part of the country you live in. Continue reading

24-hr composters: There’s no microbe in this universe that can colonise in 24 hrs, says scientist Dr Manoj

Dr C N Manoj, Pelican Biotech.

Quite often, I find myself involved in long-winding email/social media conversations or phone calls with green volunteers of large communities discussing automatic or 24-hour composters to deal with huge quantities of kitchen rejects and garden clippings generated in their communities. It so happens that the individuals who care to discuss this issue threadbare are invariably those souls who believe in Nature’s perfection and are ready to live by its rules, patiently.

The following nuggets of wisdom pouring light on this topic are from scientist Dr C N Manoj, Founder-Director of Pelican Biotech. I have collated all the information he has shared with me through emails and phone calls here. This should help you bust any myth about these menacing machines of various brands that have carved out a sinuous trail through urban concrete jungles all over India and arm yourself with scientific facts to put forth your argument in favour of sustainable composting methods. Continue reading

Community composting method-15: Try this DIY using GKVK culture, cut costs

The sole aim behind conducting this experiment in my apartment was to check whether the compost culture sold by Gandhi Krishi Vignana Kendra (GKVK) located in North Bangalore can work just as good as any other culture/accelerator sold by vendors/innovators in the city.

Well, it does. At a much lower cost! Continue reading

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: 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-8: Barrel Digester from Sudh-Labh is a big plus for small communities

Five Barrel digesters being installed at Mars Meadows, Rajarajeshwari Nagar. This apartment has 55 homes.

Five Barrel Digesters being installed at Mars Meadows, Rajarajeshwari Nagar. This apartment has 55 homes.

We have quite a few individual home composting and also several large-scale composting solutions available in the market. But large bulk generators with 50 homes or above grabbed the focus of most of the emerging eco-innovators thus far, leaving the small apartment segment with 10-15 homes, or fewer, crying for attention.

In general, large complexes have many advantages stacked in their favour—mainly financial leeway to an extent and space set aside for processing waste. If not, they can carve out a corner on the terrace or basement to get going. I have seen this happening in several communities. Continue reading

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

Community composting method-6: This Tallboy from Rite-Ways can make a molehill out of a mountain

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Tallboy composting in progress at Esteem Classic, Rajajinagar.

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! Continue reading