As part of a green club initiative, 20 students of Apostolic Carmel High School and Junior College in Bandra have converted 1,000kg of wet and dry waste – collected over a month from different classrooms – into 100kg of refined manure to grow a vegetable garden on the school’s premises.
“Through this project, we have, to some extent, reduced the quantity of waste that garbage vans would carry to the city’s dumping grounds. We are also using manure from the compost and planting seeds,” said Class 9 student Madiha Pagarkar, member of Carmel Convent Green Giants (CCGG), the school’s green club.
The compost project, initiated in March, includes two compost bins with a capacity of 100kg each. They generate waste into compost using a technique that involves air temperature, microorganisms and moisture.
“The temperature inside the bin rises to 50 degrees Celsius, when the waste is being processed to convert it into compost. Sawdust is added to the waste to absorb the excess water. The bins need to be rotated a few times through the day,” said Natasha D’Costa, brainchild of Dirt, a company that provides solutions to reutilising organic waste in different parts of Mumbai.
“To hasten the process of converting waste into compost, we rotate the bins twice a day – during the lunch break and in the evening,” said Maseera Shaikh, a student and member of the school’s green club. “We also conducted a workshop for Class 5 students to help them understand what the bins were used for,” added Shaikh.
“In around 30 days, 80% of the waste gets converted into compost. We have also collected compost water, which we will use for the school’s garden,” said Christine Syiemiong, a teacher of the school.
“The students have learnt recycling or reusing is better than discarding,” added Syiemiong.
Through the project, the school’s green club has also been spreading awareness among students and even parents on how to segregate waste.
“I have understood the difference between wet and dry waste. I have even started segregating waste at home. Our housing society has also planned to install compost bins,” said a parent, whose daughter studies in Class 8 of the school.