Kitchen waste and heap of vegetables dumped at wholesale markets will no longer be the food for stray animals in the city. The wastes will now be processed and converted into organic fertilizer under Swachh Bharat Mission.
Taking a cue from Hyderabad, Ranchi civic body has installed low-cost fertilizer manufacturing units at Khadgara vegetable market on Tuesday to convert the wastes into organic fertilizer.
The initiative was started as trial basis. Once it becomes successful, the units will be installed at various vegetable markets as well as hotels and lodges of the city where food wastes are generated in bulk.
Ranchi’s first organised G+2 vegetable market at Khadgara was inaugurated this February. It has capacity to accommodate 400-odd vendors. So far, more than 100 vendors are trading here. The market generates 30-40 kg of waste per day.
Garbage containers, which became useless, have been modified as compost unit. Nine such units have been set up at the vegetable market.
“It is very low cost process to convert wastes into compost fertilizer. After accumulation vegetable waste in boxes, we will mix molasses, curd and cow dung. This will turn in compost fertilizer after six weeks,” RMC city manager Sandeep Kumar said.
Around 100 kg vegetable wastes will be deposited in a box, which will generate around 40 kg fertilizer. “We will use the fertilizer for RMC’s gardens and parks. When it will be carried in large scale, the fertilizer, which contains nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon, will be sold to farmers,” Kumar said.
As per civic body’s estimation, Ranchi generates 500 tonnes of garbage every day, of which 50 tonnes are vegetable waste either generated from vegetable market or houses.
The city receives huge supply of leafy and fruit vegetables every day, but a section of it goes waste during its handling. This biomass is generally dumped and stray animals feed on it. Ranchi could produce two tonnes of organic fertilizer only from the vegetable wastes.
“We have set a target to set up such units in all big vegetable markets of the city in days to come,” Kumar said.
Once the experiment proves successful, the initiative will be introduced in big hotels and lodges of the city. “Since it needs negligible investment, the bulk producers of food waste will have no problem to install it,” another city manager Swati Raj said.
About 80 major hotels, according to the civic body, daily generate food waste that ranges between 8 tonnes and 10 tonnes, while over 200 medium and small hotels add another 9 tonnes every day.
Raj said the organic fertilizer would be very low at cost compared to fertilizers sold in market.