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Composting your kitchen waste-a 2-way solution to manage garbage

August 8, 2019

Managing garbage is a major concern in the developing cities world over. Plastic waste has seeped deep into our seas and the sanitary waste has choked up landfill sites. It is interesting to note that an average household comprising of 4 people generate about 1000kg of waste a year. And the fact that this can be reduced to just about 100Kg by implementing a few simple steps at home – is a fact that we just cannot ignore. A major problem faced while disposing of garbage is the mixing of different types of waste- food, paper, plastic are all mixed in a deadly concoction that threatens our very existence today. 60% waste generated by an urban household can be classified as wet i.e food and organic waste. Handling it includes collection, segregation and treatment is a cumbersome task for centralized facilities but can be easily done by each household.

How to segregate waste?

Waste segregation at home is the need of the hour and makes managing waste relatively simple. Once the mixed waste reaches the landfills -segregation becomes a tedious and impossible task.

Organic waste such as rotten fruits and vegetables or their peel, cooked food as well as dried leaves can be easily separated and composted at home. Different types of plastic waste and paper can be separately disposed of- that can then be taken up for recycling. Sanitary and medical waste need to be disposed of separately in clearly marked bags or containers. Broken glass and ceramic utensils, as well as electronic waste, needs to be separated for responsible disposal.

Managing our Kitchen waste:

The precious wet waste has the potential to become the proverbial black gold. This, however, remains unusable junk inside landfills. Landfills are not the best place to create compost as firstly, organic waste turns toxic due to the presence of metal and plastic waste and secondly, the filling up of waste in heaps leads to an insufficient oxygen supply.

Composting is a simple process of breaking down organic waste like food waste in the presence of air, water and microorganisms. This is the natural way in which waste can be turned into usable plant nutrients. The compost which is the end product forms the important and nutrient-rich topsoil that plants require to thrive.

Two ways to compost:

Depending on the availability of space in your home, you can implement ways to compost. In the absence of a lawn, you can compost food waste indoors by following two easy ways.

Vermicomposting– this uses worms to help break down organic matter. It is easy to start one.

Bokasi- This is a method that originated in Japan and uses specific microorganisms to break down organic matter.

Both methods can be employed in apartment complexes as well as individually. A bin/ earthen pot and the starter organism is what is required.

ConclusionComposting might seem cumbersome, but with a little patience and time, it does become a way of life. Apart from taking care of waste generation and the resultant pressure that organic waste puts on landfills, it generates precious organic manure for plants. By composting at home, you do not need to buy any kind of fertilizer for your kitchen, balcony or terrace garden. The natural way of managing waste ensures that there are no harmful by-products. Healthy plants near your homes ensure clean air and a positive environment. Organic fruits and vegetables from your kitchen garden can ensure a healthy home. The waste generated in your kitchen is easily disposed and you also get organic, nutrient-rich manure for your garden. If in excess, you can also sell it to make a quick buck.