Agriculture World

Say No To 24 Hour Composters and Remember to Connect with SwachaGraha Compost Connect (SGCC) in Bangalore

Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan

Haven’t we been so vocal about the 24 hour composters and still we hear news of Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagar Palike going ahead with procuring these machines to be installed in all ward levels. The Hon'ble Mayor M Goutham Kumar Jain has directed officials to make use of these machines at all 198 wards in Bangalore .They are supposed to be capable of incinerating anything from 500 kgs to 5 tonnes of biodegradable waste.

Savita Hiremath,a Member of the Solid Waste Management Round Table, says  If installed at all ward levels, 100s of tonnes of waste will be incinerated and I can't even begin to imagine the air pollution it will create. Not to mention the absolute waste of precious biodegradable material. Totally condemnable move

SWMRT members condemn the move by saying what they always said that no composting can happen in 24 hours and this is unacceptable. They also reiterate that the end product would be burnt carbon and it will not be fit for plants. Even when we have seen failure of these machines isn’t it ridiculous that these machines are sold. All SWMRT members have been fighting these machines at all levels and at every juncture, but not a single company which makes these machines is ready to take us on and produce scientific evidence to counter our arguments. 

Savita has in detail written in her Blogs about some case studies how not a single community hasn’t been benefitted from these machines. What they have seen so far is even machine that can process not more than  250 kgs can throw up power bills up to Rs 30,000/month. What it puts out is loads of burnt carbon that has zero value as it contains zero microbes. This can only be sent for landfilling. Not gardening or farming. It spews out extremely noxious fumes which will mess up the environment around. Not a single scientist has given a green signal to this so-called 'technology'. This decision could affect countless people and animals if installed in all wards to process 100s of tonnes of waste?

Within a few days after the above news came up Savita again goes on to mention about the 270 bags of compost from Mantri Alpyne apartment, located in BSK 5th Stage, being sent to a farm in Kunigal. And that Farmer Kiran will be using it for his small farm to grow a variety of vegetables. This connect is a part of the Swacha Graha Compost Connect (SGCC)  conceived by Solid Waste Management Round Table (SWMRT), Bengaluru, to help compost-producing apartments/gated communities connect with farmers in and around Bangalore. This is with the sole intention of sending the precious organic waste coming out of our kitchens and gardens back to the soil in the form of compost.

Send the priceless biomass back to the soil is a dream come true for SWMRT. There were many composting initiatives across apartments but lack of connect with the farming community posed roadblocks and the conversation ended where it started. SWMRT decided to create pathways and got the help from noted activist Vasu of SOIL who instantly supplied them with contacts of 10-12 farmers. And then, it just took off the ground!

Now they are connected with organic farmers from Kolar, Chinthamani, Mulabagilu, Ramanagara and Anekal.Savita goes on to say that initially they were very apprehensive about the heavy metal contamination in the compost, cost per kg of compost, whether they contain high quantities of weed seeds and that it eventually becomes a labour intensive exercise for us? Whether there was a possibility of selling our organic grocery, fruits and vegetable to a community and load up compost from the same spot on our way back?

If yours is a community that’s ready to sell quality compost, then SWMRT will visit your apartment to study the method you have in place, the quality of segregation and of course, the compost. Once we are sure that yours is a sustainable method and NOT a 24-hour composter output, SWMRT will connect you to the farmers who are located close to your location. They are in the process of planning to create zone-wise groups with a roadmap neatly laid out.

Price point, strategies to figure out the quality of the compost, frequency of pick-up are the most important matters to be discussed and decided in the forthcoming meetings. Write an email to endlesslygreen360@gmail.com with relevant details and contacts if you want to be included in this network.

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