There is something about the notion of composting that really excites me. Just think of it – with just a simple change of container (a composter/compost pit instead of dustbin), there’s a whole new world that opens up!
However I had always shied away from actually trying my hand at it – I imagined composting to be complicated and tedious, not to mention messy and unhygienic. I am embarrassed to say I was looking for a quick-fix solution, you see!
Composting involves decomposing kitchen and garden waste and other bio degradable matter to make an earthy, dark, crumbly substance that enriches soil; it is a critical step in reducing the volume of garbage needlessly sent to landfills for disposal.
And then I chanced upon DailyDump, a boon to all of us city dwellers, in a newspaper article. DailyDump is a brand of products and services that manage home waste. A brainchild of designer Poonam Bir Kasturi of Indiranagar, it provides a convenient way for space starved residents to compost their biodegradable home waste into high quality compost. I subsequently visited Poonam at Indiranagar many months later, and just the sight of their setup was such a delight that I had no second thoughts on adopting the system myself.
DailyDump offers a range of products, and their team is more than willing to patiently listen to you and offer advice on the product best suited to your needs. In addition to the composters, one can also buy compost accelerator (bioculum), neem powder, lemongrass spray, and a rake to get going.
It turns out making compost is not all that tough – it really isn’t. The actual work is in fact done by naturally occurring worms and microbes; our role stops at providing the right kind of ingredients. The key to making compost is a healthy mix of ‘greens’ and ‘browns’. Greens refers to fresh kitchen and/or garden waste, while browns are the dry leaves fallen from the trees and plants. For information on the apparatus needed and other details, visit www.dailydump.org
Initially, I did have a problem with fruit flies, ants and other insects but the solution to all this is really regular stirring, turmeric or chilli powder for the ants and maggots and lemon grass spray for the flies. The trick is also to keep the moisture content just right – if it’s too dry, add greens, sprinkle water and stir. If too wet, add dry leaves and stir. For those reluctant to get their hands dirty, DailyDump also manages the maintenance of the compost. Their response even to an SOS call is very prompt and efficient.
After you start using a composter, it is amazing to see the drastic reduction in volume of garbage in your dustbin. On some days (particularly if the consumption of meat is absent or negligent), there may be no garbage at all! To me that in itself was a huge motivating factor – after all one does want to contribute in some way to a reduced carbon footprint, right?
If you are still not convinced whether you have the space in your apartment, whether your family will approve or whether its really worth it since you may not have a garden, just visit DailyDump and I can promise you will be tempted to pick up one of their products – as much for their utility as for their aesthetics!
Better still, if you live in an apartment block, try to organise a presentation by DailyDump for the residents and see how much of a difference you can really make.