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Haste will make waste better: Mumbai society gets composting pit before deadline

Although the society is not big enough to face BMC action over waste segregation, it has set up a composting plant

mumbai Updated: Apr 03, 2018 10:45 IST
Yesha Kotak
Yesha Kotak
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,waste,waste management
(left) CM Lakshman, manager, Eucress Co-operative Housing Society and Kevin David, secretary of the society near the composting plant installed at Eucress Society in Wadala, Mumbai.(KUNAL PATIL/HT PHOTO)

While other societies in the city were being asked to manage their wet waste by themselves, Eucress Society in Wadala decided that before they are informed by the civic body that their waste would not be collected, they should proactively come up with a solution where their waste would be managed within the society. Around 15 days ago the society got a composting system, and the members are now learning to segregate their waste.

“We do not fall under the criteria set by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), we are not bulk generators and do not have an area more than 20,000 sqm. But, we realised that our society members were not aware that waste needs to be segregated before being disposed of, which is why we installed this composting system,” said CM Lakshman, society manager.

The society has 120 flats, where around 100kg a day of wet and dry waste was produced together before the composting started. Now, around 20kg of kitchen waste is segregated daily, while the dry waste is collected by BMC.

“It was observed that there are many places where people are segregating waste, but wet and dry waste is sent in the same truck eventually. So, then what’s the point of segregation? While BMC is asking people to segregate the waste, it isn’t done at the collection point by them, which is why such society initiatives become necessary,” said Kevin David, joint secretary, Eucress Co-operative Housing Society.

David added that the society ends up spending Rs10,000 a monthfrom the society maintenance amount on the composting system because it has been brought on rent.

“We didn’t want to invest in the whole process right away because our society members aren’t aware of the system yet. Though the composting plant is a little expensive for us right now, we don’t mind paying for it right now, if it brings about a change in the mindset of people at Eucress,” Lakshman said.

At the end of the month, society members will receive around 100kg of compost, which they will either use for plants in the society or give to the vendor, from whom they have got the composting plant.

Nilesh Tapo, who helps the society segregate the waste and run the system, said the society members were gradually learning about segregation.

“When I came here on day one, it took me around two hours to segregate the segregated waste before it could be put in the machine. Most of them put plastic in wet waste, they still do, and they have to be constantly reminded not to do so,” said Tapo.

Tapo added that even today, he spends an hour segregating the waste, most of which is kitchen waste, but believes that the members of the society are getting used to the process.

First Published: Apr 02, 2018 00:54 IST