All big and small cities in India are facing major problems to manage waste. The reasons are many from lack of knowledge to government’s ineffective system to lack of infrastructure to manage waste, etc. In big cities usually people are educated and know very well the importance of effective waste management but the reality is that we all ignore like it is not out department and leave everything on the municipality as we are not responsible for managing something that we are also contributing. It is not right and being a responsible citizen we all should make our contribution to make our city clean and beautiful as it is not a one man problem. It can be managed if we all join our hands to manage the waste at source if possible. We can educate others to adopt simple methods to reduce and recycle home waste effectively. It does not take much of your time. It needs just consciousness towards you and towards the environment. Let us make the place livable for our children and grand children by adopting waste management techniques at home.In this article I am summarizing how to use home waste to make compost for your own garden thus reducing urban waste significantly.
Compost is an organic decomposed matter which can be utilized as a fertilizer for plants to grow faster and healthier. You can make your own compost from the waste of kitchen and other waste things in home. It does not need big space or ground to make compost. Usually 50 to 60 percent of your home waste is organic in nature and can be used in making good compost for garden plants.
What you need to make compost?
The easiest way is to take two earthen pots, two containers to collect drained water and two pot stand to keep the pots on. If you have a separate house you can dig a pit in the ground of your home or an open pile can also work. Nowadays most people live in apartments and ground pit is not a viable option. It is easy to accommodate two pots to make compost in an apartment.
What waste to use for making compost?
1. Fruits and vegetables peel and waste
2. Dried flowers (flowers used for puja)
3. Citrus fruits cut in small pieces
4. Newspapers (shredded), old envelops, paper tissues, old cotton clothes (all in small pieces)
5. Cooked food, egg shells, rotten vegetables, coffee powder, tea leaves, tea bags, tamarind pulp, etc.
6. Garden waste like dried leaves, small twigs
In short we can say that you need to first separate bio degradable wastes from non bio degradable waste. The list above is of bio degradable waste. Plastic bags, paper plates with plastic lining, foil rappers, coconut shells, medicine rappers, milk bags, batteries, etc should not be added to composting pot.
What is the next step?
Put the pots on the stand and make sure that there is a hole in the bottom of the pot to drain the excess water from waste. Put one container under the stand to collect the water. Fill the pot with waste from kitchen and home (only bio degradable waste). You can add kitchen waste every day until it is full. Cover it with a newspaper so that there will be air circulation. When it is full keep it aside and take the other pot and follow the same process.
How long will it take to make compost?
You need to leave the pot for at least two to three months to make fine compost. After which the organic compost is to use ready for your balcony, kitchen or home garden.
How much time is needed every day for this activity?
Just 10 minutes a day can manage your bio degradable waste at source. It is the task of segregation, stirring and covering it properly that will do the rest.
Useful tips to make things simpler
1. Only organic matter can be turned into compost.
2. Do not add plastics to your pot.
3. Citrus fruits should be cut in small pieces.
4. Smaller pieces compost fast than bigger pieces.
5. Dry leaves help in absorbing excess water from kitchen waste and makes a balance.
6. Covering the pot properly is important to keep flies and insects away.
7. Stirring every day speed up the process of making compost.
8. When your compost is ready to use it will look very dark in color, no textures of vegetable or other waste seen, slightly damp and smells like fresh earth.
9. Sunny or semi shaded place is perfect to make a good compost fast.