How a designer unearthed solution for our "Daily Dump" 

April 7th , 2019 | Poonam Bir Kasturi

Awareness about ease of doing home composting 

I trained as an Industrial Designer and graduated from National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad in 1985. While dealing with the designing and marketing of industrial products, I realized how necessary waste management was. Having been born and raised in Bangalore, I have witnessed the transformation of my beloved Garden City of India into The Garbage City of India. Everyone was complaining about how dirty our city was getting but no one knew what to do about it. I decided to start Daily Dump in April 2006, in order to create more awareness about home composting, and to create products that would make this process easier for everyone.

After a lot of research, I realized that 60% of the waste coming from every household is actually organic waste. And this waste, that could potentially be converted into organic compost, was being sent away to landfills along with a lot of other non-compostable waste, thus adding to the piles of garbage accumulating all over the city. When I started Daily Dump 13 years ago, people would refuse to spend any money on buying our products to manage their own waste. But today, we have over 50,000 families and 600 communities that have adapted the composting lifestyle across the country. And just these customers alone keep over 48,000 kgs of organic waste out of landfills DAILY. That is 1,440 tonnes per month (as per statistics from February 2019). At zero cost to the government. This is a great positive impact to the city as it saves on fuel, reduces vehicular pollution of carting waste over long distances, keeps the soil fertile and costs the city nothing.

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Re-imagine our relationship with the Earth

 

I started Daily Dump with a vision to constantly re-imagine our relationship with the earth, with each other and with our urban spaces. Essentially, we are in the mindset changing business – mindsets about “waste”, about marginal livelihoods, about whose job it is to take care of “waste”, etc. We use design to help imagine alternative scenarios that can help change behavior. We are mindful of looking at whole systems and understand that the context of India has its own challenges. Our objective is to reduce waste, improve material recovery, enable better livelihoods and to do this through the voluntary collective action of urban citizens. Our products are made by craft communities and small scale industries. So while helping clean up the city, we also want to help urban Indians reconnect with cycles of production, consumption and disposal in new ways

As a design led company, we constantly strive towards innovating, designing and building products and services for decentralized waste management in homes, communities, offices and public spaces. Our range of segregation products, composters, books, services and more, reflect its mission to enable everyone to harm less.

Poonam with community composter(Aaga) & Kambha 

A better planet need a better perception 

Our main aim is to create as much awareness as possible to make citizens realize that we all need to contribute to tackle the waste problem that is rising at an alarming rate. And to do this, Indians must change their perception and behaviors around waste. The most common reaction to waste in our country is that if its out of our homes, its not our problem anymore. This mindset needs to change. It IS our problem. All of our problem. And unless we start doing something about it now, it might be too late for our future generations. If we love our kids, then we will know that we must allow them the opportunity to re-imagine their relationship with the earth, or we would have lost something of great value.

The author of the story is Poonam Bir Kasturi of "Daily Dump" and you can reach out to her www.dailydump.org 

InwasteR is only a platform to share WaStory and the views and experience are purely of the author.

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