Mulching or composting of green waste absolutely requires no investment. However, municipal corporations in Delhi/NCR and residents in Noida find it difficult to use this method to dispose the green waste. Moreover, even after National Green Tribunal (NGT) imposed a complete ban on burning of waste in the open and announced a fine of Rs.5,000 for its violation, many residents are still flouting this rule and following the burning of waste method rather than adopting the composting method for green waste disposal causing huge amount of air pollution.
Let’s try to understand the mulching and composting of dry waste method better:
What is green waste?
Green waste is essentially organic waste such as dry leaves collected from roadside and parks and fresh kitchen waste.
What is mulching?
Mulch is any type of material that is spread over the soil surface (around plants as well) to act as covering. Dry leaves in shredded form can be used as mulch. Mulch breaks down overtime and turns into compost.
What is composting?
Composting is a simple process of allowing organic waste, especially fresh kitchen waste and dry leaves to rot and then stabilize the organic matter under limited controls. In this process, mainly bacteria and fungi convert rich organic matter into humus. The pulverized waste is added into pit and each bed takes about 2-3 months to turn the entire waste into compost.
Procedure to compost leaves:
Step1: Collect the dried leaves in a bag.
Step 2: Add them in layers in any large aerated container like wire mesh enclosure and sprinkle water on the layers to make the pile wet but not saturated.
Step 3: Add some fresh green lawn clipping or waste food in between the pile to ensure composting is happening.
Step 4: Also add compost accelerator like cow dung or any other organic accelerator.
Step 5: Turn the pile once in 2 months to ensure composting is happening properly.
Step 6: After 12 months the leaves would have decomposed fully and the compost would be ready to be added to your garden for healthy plants.
Composting Success Story:
The Defence Colony RWA in Delhi in has managed to compost their organic and green waste in simple pits dug out in a park. They have about eight pits where organic waste, along with dry leaves and other green waste, is dumped. The compost is so good that they are selling it to residents. They have also hired a couple of waste pickers and gardeners. Their pits currently compost green and other organic waste from 1,600 homes.
The question that arises is if RWAs are able to successfully launch the composting method for green waste disposal, why are the municipal corporations not able to do it? All the corporations need to do is to allot an assignment to someone to create composting pits, starting with 2 in each park wherein the dry leaves can be mulched and turned into compost.
Some of the waste management experts also recommend hiring informal waste workers in gathering green waste from each colony. They can be given a small space in the park to do the composting or overseeing the mulching process. It will be a source of employment for them and it will also ensure that the composting process is conducted in a proper manner against the nominal fee charged by the waste collectors or rag pickers.
About time we all think about our environment isn’t it?
Source: Times of India