We have read about why composting matters in our last wlog and many of you are motivated enough to start your own composting process at home. Starting this process is easy but then there are number of ways to mess it up completely. Here are some useful details which will definitely come handy to start your process! Also, there should be no way that lack of means becomes a barrier to start this practice.
Get the stuff together
A Pot: As winter is coming, nobody will ask for 'thanda matke ka paani', repurpose your earthen mithi ka matka. You can also buy an attractive one from the market as these are not very expensive. Also, get a lid to cover the pot. If earthen pots are not available, use any flower pot or a plastic dustbin with a lid will also work. Make sure the lid is not to loose but easy to lift.
I add around 200-500 grams of kitchen waste on daily basis. It takes around 30 days to fill it completely with greens and browns. Depending on how much kitchen waste is generated at your home, days can vary to completely fill the pot. Once it is filled, keep it aside for 45-60 days for the breakdown process. Start with another pot/bin.
A stand to keep the pot/bin: Make sure the pot or bucket is kept balanced. The stand will ensure that and also make hassle free collection of leachate. You can use a plastic stand which are easily available in market/online.
A Container: This will be placed below the pot to collect Leachate. It is the brown water percolating through compost. This can later be used for plants (dilute 1 part with 10 parts water) or simply let it go down the drain to unclog!! The size should be small so as to fit inside the stand.
All the things can easily be collected and if not then Jugaad will definitely works!
Keeping the Balance
In compost, we add our kitchen waste which is known as ‘greens and garden waste known as ‘browns’. Good composting will happen only when there is a specific blend of green and browns. Brown materials are high in carbon, while green materials are high in nitrogen. To ensure this balance, make sure to add more of browns than the greens. The popular ratio is 3 parts brown to 1 part green.
Usually adding this much browns takes a lot of space in the pot. So, the amount of brown used in my compost is limited to cover the wet waste and to keep the moisture in check. I add shredded leaves whenever the moisture content is high (except from the bottom hole, there should not be drenching leachate from any other holes).
In case, you do not have direct access to dry leaves, collect them from the public garden/sweeping of roads in your street/society (just ask the gardener/sweeper to save it for you) etc. Fill up a big bag and stack it near your pot. Refill when empty. Newspaper and cardboard can also be used. Another option is to use cocopeat which is easily available on amazon/flipkart. It is alternative to the browns required in the composting process. Not free like the garden browns but not heavy on the pocket too. If you want to compost and non-availablity of browns keeping you away, use cocopeat and shredded paper/cardboard. Brown’s work will be done.
What goes inside composting unit