Residents of Agasti building, Bandra Reclamation, inaugurate their compost kit. Pics/Datta Kumbhar
Residents of a Bandra Reclamation building are done wasting their breath on mere platitudes. The 28 families of Agasti Building took up a zero waste management campaign on Sunday morning to turn their waste into compost, and use it to grow their own organic food.
The initiative, taken with the help of the Bandra Reclamation Resident Association, the BMC, NGO Street Mukti Sanghatana and Bandra Reclamation Area Volunteers Organisation, aims at paving the way for zero waste management campaigns for other housing societies.
The plot of land the society has set aside to grown vegetables with its compost
As per the plan, four compost tumblers were installed in Agasti Building and 28 bins to collect wet garbage distributed among residents. A plot of land has been set aside on the premises to use the compost made to grow organic vegetables. These veggies will be distributed for free among residents.
"The waste bins are separated into two layers. The second later will collect the waste extract. Residents will have to rotate the garbage in the two layers frequently to air the bin. The waste will take 20-25 days to turn into compost, after which resident can use it to grow plants," said CK Narula, an elderly resident of the building who initiated the zero waste campaign in the society.
Neela Shinde, another resident, was thrilled at the prospect of not just protecting the environment but also reaping a benefit while at it. "We are excited to be a part of this change. With this, we can grow organic vegetables right here."
Fires, the trigger
Other residents of the locality are already on board the campaign. The adjoining Anand Sagar Building has set aside a 1,500-sqft land on its premises to grow its veggies. Once we start making compost, we will make use of the plot," said Najmudin Bookwala, secretary of Anand Sagar Building. Residents of Agasti Building were prompted by the outbreaks of fire at the Deonar and Chembur dumping ground last year to take up the zero waste campaign. "Toxic fumes enveloped our area when the fires broke out. Afterwards, we decided on better waste management to avoid repeat of such a scenario," said Vidya Vaidya, a resident.
Deepika D'souza, member of Stree Mukti Sanghatana, said the NGO is also working with housing societies in Navi Mumbai, Versova and Panvel to manage their waste better.
Paving the way
Bandra H/west officer Sharad Ughade said although the concept of zero waste management is not alien to the city - civic hospitals, ward offices and educational institutions have already adopted it - it's the first time that a housing society has pooled in its own money to start such an initiative. He said if the housing society produced compost in excess of its needs, the BMC would use it in civic hospitals.
Rs 36,000 Amount spent by the residents on sourcing the compost kit