City looks for ways to con­vert trash into trea­sure ahead of Oct 2 cut-off

Re­lies On BMC Help, Ex­perts For So­lu­tions

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES CITY -

What a ma­gi­cian does to a coffin, a man in Chem­bur did to a mas­sive wa­ter tank three months ago. On the be­hest of the Avanti Nike­tan Co­op­er­a­tive So­ci­ety, the hard­ware ex­pert sliced the un­used tank down the mid­dle to give it a new, pur­pose­ful life. One of its two halves now stands un­der a tar­pau­lin shel­ter that the com­plex’s cleaner, Shankar mama, vis­its ev­ery morn­ing with leaves plucked from the com­plex gar­den and fer­til­izer that smells like rain­soaked earth. As he cre­ates lay-

Wet garbage is col­lected in two com­post­ing bins (see pic on left) which res­i­dents have taken for trial Each bin has a lever that has to be ro­tated manu- At this so­ci­ety, a wa­ter tank has been con­verted into two com­post­ing bins The bin is filled daily with wet gar- ally daily to help mix the garbage with fer­til­izer

Lo­cals will de­cide if they want to buy the bin which costs 35K bage, fer­tilis­ers sup­plied by the NGO Eco-Rox and dry leaves col­lected from the nearby gar­den

In 2 months, the mix­ture has turned into ma­nure ment the process in his build­ing. He also vis­ited other so­ci­eties where wet waste is com­posted to un­der­stand the process. Gandhi then con­vinced res­i­dents to cre­ate a pit and start com­post­ing wet waste but the process wasn’t hap­pen­ing prop­erly. So, they have re­cently in­stalled a tum­bler com­post­ing bin and are in the process of buy­ing a wet waste com­poster, which is tak­ing longer than ex­pected be­cause man­u­fac­tur­ing units aren’t geared for such high de­mand.

How­ever, con­cerns con­tinue to lit­ter some com­plexes. Res­i­dents of Ty­tan at Na­pean Sea Road are wait­ing for the au­thor­i­ties to demon­strate how to com­post wet waste. There are other chal­lenges. Jayant Shetty of Din­doshi’s 675-flat­strong Ra­heja Com­plex said he knew about the dead­line but that it was im­pos­si­ble to com­post wet waste in the so­ci­ety. “There is no place in our so­ci­ety for com­post­ing and we are wor­ried about the stench if we cre­ate a com­post­ing pit,” said Shetty, adding that the com­post­ing pit will not only need a fi­nan­cial in­vest­ment of Rs 78 lakh and but also time. “It will take around six months to build which is a lot of time,” said Shetty. “We can’t do it on our own.”

(In­puts by Sak­ina Ma­muwala) lect it, mi­croseg­re­gate it. Wet waste is sent for com­post­ing, and dry waste is mi­cro seg­re­gated. This is be­cause there are dif­fer­ent prices for each kind of dry waste—old news­pa­per goes for Rs 10 per kg, shop­ping pa­per bags Rs 5 , and pack­ag­ing card­board Rs 8 . The money gen­er­ated is paid to the two house­keep­ing staffers em­ployed to seg­re­gate and treat their waste over and above their salaries.

The so­ci­ety also al­lows them and the do­mes­tic helps work­ing in the build­ing to take away dis­carded toys, clothes and books that are in good con­di­tion. Be­sides, tetra packs which are thrown away with dry waste, are cleaned and dried by the house­keep­ing staff, and handed over to Sa­hakari Bhan­dar in Worli. “Upon hand­ing over a cer­tain num­ber of tetra packs, we get a sit­ting bench or a waste pa­per bas­ket made of thou­sands of tetra packs,” said Jayant Bro­ker, a res­i­dent who has been driv­ing the seg­re­ga­tion and treat­ing of garbage.

The house­keep­ing staff is given rub­ber gloves and fa­cial masks as well are pro­tec­tive mea­sures while they carry on their work ev­ery day.

He said this be­gan three years ago even though res­i­dents

A wa­ter tank has been con­verted into a bin in Chem­bur

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