Tanya Satish

Come October 2017 and the MCGM will stop collecting wet garbage from large housing societies. Not only has the city run out of garbage dumps but have realized that methane and carbon dioxide are the most dangerous contributors to green house gases. Powai takes lead in creating awareness and showing housing societies to compost their own waste.

Last week saw the Solid Waste Management of MCGM conduct a composting and segregation workshop organized at the Meluha Ecotel Hiranandani Powai. The Asst.Commissioner of the ‘S’ ward S.Dhondhe, Solid waste management incharge P.Kopkar, S.Dlavi from the head office of the MCGM along with S.Patil of the waste management departments for North East, Punish Sharma AGM of the Melhuha Ecotel, graced the occasion to explain about the importance of composting and recyling.Elsie Gabriel founder of Young Environmentalists explained about how Climate Change was effected by our garbage outcomes and how methane contributed to atleast 30% of the green house gases. Over seventy residents from not only Powai but Thane, Andheri, Mulund also attended the Composting and kitchen gardening workshop.

“I’am glad that residents of Powai are taking the initiative to recycle.Directions from the High Court as well as the MCGM has imposed segregation, recycling of dry waste and composting of wet waste as compulsory in every housing society. Under this provision, it will become mandatory for all buildings to treat their waste in the city, “ Said S.Dhondhe at the workshop.

All participants were shown the vermin composting methods and the various types of worms used in the particular type of vermin composting methods. Worksheets, gift packets of rich compost, vegetable seeds, saplings and booklets were also distributed, lectures were given on the various types of simple composting setups that housing societies could set up.

P. Kopkar chief of the Solid Waste management of the S ward insisted that all housing must now walk the talk, “Right from square cemented composting pits to simple holes in the ground in gardens which could serve as composting pits were illustrated upon. Managing committees are requested to commit, confirm the small space needed in the backyard to start composting, it is as easy as that.We will give permissions and guidance, just start.”

Elaborated S.Dalvi the MCGM officer, “We have to manage our own waste.It belongs to us. Most people preferred the cemented or meshing pits with out the use of worms, where the wet biodegradable waste could simply compost when left to disintegrate in the pits. These could be left for the house keeping to supervise once in a way said the authorities, but it was essential to start composting as garbage trucks for the collection of wet garbage would be stopped.”

Formal housing societies and large complexes account for around 30% of the daily generation of waste within city. The purpose of the scheme is to reduce the burden of garbage on the dumping site. There are no landfills left. The rule of the campaign is simple – Reduce the waste you generate and send out minimum dry waste to the landfills . We have, in our city, three dumping grounds which are located in the northern part of Mumbai at Gorai (Borivali), Mulund and Deonar. A fourth one at Chincholi has recently closed down. Amongst the three, Deonar is the largest dumping ground. All the dumping grounds are nearly 30-40km from South Mumbai which explains the huge costs on transportation.

The ALM of Powai and the Young Environmentalists NGO is coordinating Composting Sessions along with the MCGM at housing societies who will be shown how to make easy small simple composting pits. Composting is simply the process of breaking down the organic matter (food waste) in the presence of air and water, using micro organisms and small insects present in nature. The end product is called compost which is rich in readily usable plant nutrients forming a part of healthy soil.

Composting organisms require 4 conditions to create compost:

1. Carbon that comes from brown organic matter like dried leaves, sawdust, paper

2. Nitrogen that comes from fruit and vegetable waste, coffee grounds

3. Oxygen which comes from air

4. Water in the right amounts

Landfills are not the ideal environment to create compost, since food waste is made toxic by the plastic and metal waste. Further waste gets piled up everyday like a mountain and the layers below are cut off from oxygen.

Kindly register your participation and queries to 9967347511