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

GOING ORGANIC-6: Low-cost infrastructure needed for large-scale vermicomposting

Adults and children in our apartment on a worm-sprinkling spree...

Adults and children in our apartment on a worm-sprinkling spree…

Building cement tanks for vermicomposting involves no rocket science. With some common sense, you can have them built with a local mason at a low cost. Involving an architect means two things: the cost goes up 3-4 times and they may come up with suggestions without having the basic knowledge about vermicompost. Continue reading

Sobha Althea-Azalea: Mandur crisis affects us, but just a little

Giving back to where it belongs: All the kitchen waste and garden waste is turned into rich organic manure and given back to where it belongs.

Giving back to where it belongs: All the kitchen waste and garden waste is turned into rich organic manure and given back to where it belongs.

Going by the media reports, the Karnataka government certainly doesn’t have a solution in sight for the Mandur landfill crisis. No government wants to drag a reluctant multitude towards a safe future by roiling up the system and suffer the drubbing during elections. Better safe than sorry, right?

Amidst such a sordid state of affairs, I feel immensely proud to congratulate the residents of Sobha Althea-Azalea, Yelahanka, for achieving multiple milestones in just two years. Continue reading

Mandur landfill crisis revisits: Luxury of peacetime over, let’s stop being deliberately callous

The reality in Mandur. (Pic: The Hindu)

The reality in Mandur. (Pic: The Hindu)

Recently, I made an early-morning trip to some nurseries around Lalbagh with a friend to buy plants for our apartment garden. By forenoon, we had done most of our work but couldn’t resist the desire to step into yet another large nursery studded with beautiful succulents. As we went around enjoying the fragrance of those green little beauties, especially gardenias, the nursery staff got busy loading the green ‘waste’ into a BBMP vehicle. Some 4-5 workers went on feeding the truck for at least an hour.

When we asked, they said it was headed to Mandur landfill. Continue reading

GOING ORGANIC-3: It begins with waste management. Let’s dump it right first.

A series of articles based on my personal experience of turning our manicured garden, used to synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, into completely organic with the help of like-minded enthusiastic volunteers.

The real behind-the-scene warriors are our housekeepers who toil away silently, not knowing how valuable their work is!

The real behind-the-scene warriors are our housekeepers who toil away silently, not knowing how valuable their work is!

Those of you who have been following my blog, Facebook updates and media coverage might have come across the efforts that went into planning and executing a successful waste management (WM) in our apartment. Here’s a quick look at this ongoing mammoth exercise. I sincerely believe in this: Unless we know how to segregate, we will not know how to compost. If we are not ready to turn unwanted kitchen or garden waste into that beautiful organic manure, we will not go organic. Continue reading

We manage 21 types of waste in Sobha Althea-Azalea, every day…

How would you feel if a housekeeper trained by you gives back lessons on how to differentiate between many types of plastic waste?

This is what happened a week ago when I went down to the basement to check if things were in order. This is where secondary segregation of our dry waste collected from each household happens every day.

When I asked Lakshmi, our housekeeper, why plastic waste was lying in 3-4 separate bins, she said type A fetches more money than type B… She and the remaining 11 housekeepers know it better than perhaps I will ever know.

The result? We are segregating TWENTYONE types of waste every day at Sobha Althea-Azalea! Continue reading

Waste management: How we did it at Sobha Althea & Azalea…

It took a lot of brainstorming, planning and a little bit of crisis management to put an efficient waste management system in place at our apartment in Bangalore. Almost two months since we kicked off this exercise, the collective efforts of some committed residents have only reaffirmed our faith in the fact that those who generate waste are capable of managing it at source.

Our housekeepers are busy doing secondary segregation of dry waste. It takes not more than 15 minutes every day to segregate dry waste into 5-6 further categories like plastic, paper, metal, etc.

Although new problems crop up every day and we are anything but perfect, we are proud because we took our civic consciousness to a new level and are not contributing to the garbage crisis dogging Bangalore.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how we went about achieving waste management at Sobha Althea & Azalea, Bangalore. Continue reading