After Eartha, we thought we were done with designing community composters. However, we hit a roadblock as transporting a few units of Eartha to places like New Delhi, Mumbai or even Pune, meant attracting a massive shipping fee which many interested buyers found inhibiting.
Ten billion cells per gram, loaded with saprophytic bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes which can break down complex organic compounds, teeming with thermophiles that can spike up the temperature in your composter to 60-75 deg.C, and topped off with essential enzymes. This is a 12-strain microbial culture—geared to quicken the composting turnaround cycle and enrich the soil. It works a treat on tough-to-break-down meat, oils, spices, dairy leftovers, cellulose and lignin contents in your kitchen and garden rejects.
This is but just a sneak peek into the EXCELERATOR’s composition.
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.
If you have read all the CCMs documented in this blog, you will know that I have always picked out low-cost and sustainable methods including DIYs. But there are reasons for reviewing this completely machine-driven composting system. Continue reading →
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 →
(L to R) Stonesoup co-founder Smita Kulkarni, SWM activist Shanthi Chowdhary and SWM volunteer Padma pose proudly with an Aaditi installed in a lane in HSR Layout. It is being managed by Padma and neighbours.
There’s something undeniable about a good product design. It fits in.
This observation goes well with Aaditi—a scalable aerobic composting system—designed, manufactured and marketed by Bengaluru-based startup company Stonesoup. It’s an entrepreneurial venture by SWM activists Malini Parmar and Smita Kulkarni. Continue reading →
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 →
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.
When it comes to designing composting systems, one thing is certain: Never trust an innovator/designer who has not struggled with at least one badly designed composting method previously. Continue reading →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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.
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 →
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 Saahas team led by Supervisor Narayana Swamy (left) turns tonnes of kitchen and dry waste into organic manure at BIEC, Tumkur Road. These high-capacity cement tanks make their job easy.
Turning quintals of food waste coming out of three huge exhibition halls and fallen dry leaves swept up from a humungous campus spread over 36 acres into organic manure is no silly task. Interestingly, all of it gets absorbed efficiently by a simple composting system designed and managed by Saahas Zero Waste Solutions at Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC), Tumkur Road. Continue reading →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
If you do not want to dig into your community’s corpus funds to set up a costly infrastructure for composting wet waste, but have ample space in your apartment or gated community or resort, Up’Grade from Reap Benefit is just the solution for you. Continue reading →
Here’s a solution that suits both small apartments and bulk generators like large-sized apartments, restaurants, schools, institutes, hospitals, school and corporate canteens. If you want a combined package of ease of use, aesthetics, zero operational costs and capital payback in a few years, go for EcoDigester. Continue reading →
Quite a few community composting methods have evolved over the last few years, but I thought of kicking off this series with my personal favourite: Platform composting. That’s because it’s the easiest, the simplest, the most cost-effective and a hassle-free aerobic solution to compost both your kitchen and garden waste. Continue reading →