Some lessons in composting waste

Jaswant Singh, a resident of Spartan Avenue, Thiruvalluvar Nagar, in Mogappair, has been composting waste at his house for some years now. Chennai Corporation officials have now started visiting his home to study all aspects of composting wet waste.

Explaining the process adopted by him, Mr. Singh says he has been using a 500-litre plastic drum with 300 minute holes in the lower portion for composting the waste. Each of the 300 holes in the drum has a dimension of 6 mm. He fills 1.9 cm blue metal for a height of 5 cm at the bottom of the drum and tops it with 15 cm of wet waste.

Dos and don’ts

“I do not include onion or waste from citrus fruits. I do not include meat either,” says Mr. Singh. He adds 500 g of fresh cow dung mixed in 2 litres of water, before adding layers of waste again. Just four earthworms are added to the waste to facilitate composting. “The top layer of the drum is closed with 2 cm soil. There is no stench at all,” he says. Jaggery is used to attract the earthworms. He gets 150 kg of manure every two months.

R. Padma, a resident of the Officers Colony in Anna Nagar West Extension, says civic officials should study the cause of stench in the decentralised waste processing facilities in the neighbourhood.

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