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Matunga society sends zero organic waste to dumping grounds

The society took to the project from Republic Day and from then on, has treated over 5,000kg of organic waste and produced 500 kg of manure, which is used to nurture over 300 plants and a 1,500 square-feet garden.

Updated: Aug 27, 2018 11:47:33

By HT Correspondent

The Lokmanya Nagar Co-operative Housing Society in Mumbai’s Matunga treats its daily output of 25kg of organic waste in automatic tumbler machines and has processed over 5,000 kg of organic waste since January 26 this year. (HT Photo )

The Lokmanya Nagar Co-operative Housing Society in Matunga (West) has been processing its entire organic waste within the society premises from January, thus saving the municipal corporation the cost of transportation of waste to landfills. Organic waste comprises of fruit and vegetable wastes, seeds, leaves, egg shells, coffee grounds (including paper filters), tea bags, used paper napkins, meat and dairy wastes and corncobs. It also consists of horticultural waste such as leaves, weeds, branches, twigs, hay and sawdust.

Built in 1947, the society, with 148 units in 10 buildings (each consisting of five- storeys) treats it daily output of 25kg of organic waste in automatic tumbler machines. The society took to the project from Republic Day and from then on, has treated over 5,000kg of organic waste and produced 500 kg of manure, which is used to nurture over 300 plants and a 1,500 square-feet garden.

“We had started segregating waste in the society since 2016. Last July, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) sent us a July last year asking us to treat waste at source. We took the notice positively, and with an aim to protect the environment, we consulted experts in waste management and had regular meetings with citizens,” said Yashwant Joshi, secretary of the society.

Shekhar Vaidya, the chairman of the society, said, ““It took some time for the society to adjust but people responded well. In August 2017, we began with mechanical compost drums and broke the waste down using vermiculture and saw dust. After a two-month trial, we decided to use the same technique but an automated version of it. Our house keeping staff was trained on how to use the machine.”



Joshi said every 15 days the society generates around 45 kg of compost.

“While 90% is used within the society, the remaining is sold to society members. Since the results were fantastic, other societies have been visiting us to understand the benefits of composting,” he said.

Tanaji Laxman Ghagh, assistant head supervisor, solid waste management, BMC said, “The residents are under a misconception that it was our notice that led to their efforts. We issued a letter to them for awareness but the response has been great. Not only are they treating their wet waste completely, they are slowly moving towards a zero waste model as dry waste is being collected and treated by us. Only a fraction of their waste is going to city landfills currently.”

BMC’s environment status report 2016-17 showed 73% of Mumbai’s waste was organic, 17% was sand, earth and stone, 4% was paper and recyclables, 3% was dry waste, and 3% was plastic.

BOX

WHY COMPOSTING?

· Helps prevent pollution

· Reduces your carbon footprint

· Decreases your dependency on garbage trucks, which in turn, reduces traffic congestion on the streets

· Helps sandy soil retain water and nutrients

· Suppresses diseases and harmful pests

· Low-cost alternative to fertilisers and pesticides

· Encourages community activity

First Published: Aug 27, 2018 11:47:01

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