You all are familiar with Chatur bhai (if not, catch him in wlog1), that day at 11 A.M he calls me out and asks ‘Khachro Nathi Aapvano? Ketla divas thayi gaya’ (Don’t you want to give your dustbin trash? It’s been long). I didn’t keep my dustbin for collection for 8 days. It’s only half filled and there’s no foul smell. I thought it can rest in the corner until full till the brim. After all, it’s going to be part of some landfill or open burning. The less, the better!
Findings and data tells that minimum of 50% of waste generated at household level is bio-degradable. I observed about 70-80% of the space in the dustbin was occupied by the kitchen waste and now with composting, it lies half empty. That was my waste generation status during my first composting. Now, after adopting few more practices, my garbage is collected only 3-4 times a month. Seems, I have saved 26 filled trash bags from ending up in the landfill!! Or rather say, I saved my planet, only a bit like ‘little drop make the mighty ocean’.
“About 70-80% of the space in the dustbin was occupied by the kitchen waste”
Let’s put this waste to some use. Many of you followed my first wlog and thought of starting it yourselves. Check out wlog 2 to identify things you require for starting composting at home. Once you are up with all the things, here’s a quick guide to own your contribution to the environment!!!
Let’s drill the holes: Drill holes with the help of driller/screw driver/ nails. Makes sure to make a hole at the bottom centre. This is where leachate escapes the pot
Find a place & Setup: Corner of a garden or a balcony where it doesn't hinder your movement. Keep away from direct sunlight. Place the pot over the tripod and plastic container below the stand.
Start layering: Layer the base of the pot/bin with dry waste/browns. Start adding your kitchen waste. With every layer of kitchen waste, cover it with thin layer of browns. The process of layering goes on till the pot is full.
Fine-tune your pile’s moisture: It should be neither too dry nor too wet as both will hamper the decomposition process. Add dry waste if you feel the mix has high moisture content. Add some water if you find the mixture dry. Well, they say squeeze the waste in your palm and if its like a wrung out sponge, its good. And I never tried doing! Just approximate that it doesn’t give out more than few drops of water when squeezed!
Turn the pile: Turning the pile every 2-3 days helps in aeration.
Let it compost: Once the compost is full, cover it and keep it aside. Once in a week check for the moisture content. It will take 45-60 days for your pile to turn into compost!
In case, you haven’t got the time to check you pot occasionally, nothing to be scared of. Either your compost will be ready or show some symptoms of dryness or excess moisture. Repeat the step 4 and keep the pot for more days.
The odourless compost
I want you to be prepared for some of the hassles which will come with DIY composting. Not to leave you disheartened with the scary facts, here are few tips attached to let go of fear of home composting.
Buttermilk acts as a catalyst to your compost. Add some buttermilk every week to the pile to accelerate the process. I do this every now and then. If the moisture content is high in your compost then add curd instead of buttermilk. Cover the pot with a lid and let it sit idle once full. Do not add new waste into it. Check on moisture content every week and turn the pile using the stick. Within 45 days – 60 days, your pile should transform into compost which will be dry, dark brown, crumbly and smelling of earth.
So grab your will and say ‘Let’s give this a try’ and, its only one cycle of composting which will seem like a tough experience. But, believe me, after the harvest of first compost, you will be filled with sense of ‘serving the greater good for mankind’ and what follows will be sustainable for sure.
Hello, I am Anjali Choudhary. Professionally, I am associated with various projects related to farmers empowerment. I like experimenting with eco friendly practices at my home and happy to share with everyone around me. I love nature and have developed this instance of trying my best to harm it less with my routine chores.