Bangalore’s exponentially growing population, with ever growing consumption needs, has created a stinking trash problem. The problem is made worse by the all-too-common “not my problem” mindset that most of us have. Most of us think if we just throw our waste far away someone else will deal with it-the government, rag pickers, municipality, etc. Waste management is a problem in our country which cannot alone be solved by municipal waste workers and the informal trash sector. It is time for each one of us to step up and start owning our waste.
An Indian family of four produces an average of 2.2 kilograms of waste per day. In a city of more than 10 million, that is a lot of trash! What most people don’t know is that 60% of that waste is organic material (kitchen and garden waste), which can easily be composted into nutrient rich manure at home. There is absolutely no reason for perfectly natural tomatoes, capsicum, and mango to go to the landfill where it combines with batteries, plastic bottles, and other mixed waste slowly poisoning the ground and water. Even worse, garden waste like dried leaves and dead branches, which make great mulch for gardens, are commonly burned, releasing dangerous toxins into the atmosphere.
Daily Dump, a social enterprise based out of Bangalore has come up with innovative and indigenous solutions to address how we treat our organic waste by teaching individuals to compost at home. Daily Dump’s terracotta composting units, make composting household organic waste easy, turning it to nutrient rich manure in about three months. Additionally, Daily Dump sells large, community composting units that are ideal for schools, offices, and apartment buildings.
Think you’re too busy to compost? Composting only takes about five minutes a day; about the same amount of time it takes to brush your teeth. Afraid of smell or pests or don’t think you have space? Daily Dump has created products to simply composting at home easily and produce no smell, minimize the risk of pests, and look beautiful in a garden or on a balcony. They provides service plans for new users to get started. And, when you’re done, your compost can be mixed with soil to provide excellent nutrition for your plants, you can take it to your favourite park and dump it under a tree, or sell the compost back to Daily Dump.
Since 2006, the Daily Dump has successfully kept more than 10,000 kgs of organic waste out of landfills and that number is growing. They are in the process of designing new and easier products that will hopefully help to spread the habit of composting across India bringing that number even higher. It is their hope that, by showing people how easy composting can be, they can catalyze people to begin making small changes in their buying and throwing habits that will add up to a large, positive impact on Bangalore’s trash problem.
Pallavi Singh is a masters in business management and has over 8 years experience ranging from business development and research to public affairs and marketing. She has managed complex partnerships with industry forums and with business schools alike on behalf of the organizations like HCL and Honeywell. After spending 7 years in the corporate marketing, she now works as a marketing consultant for sustainable development.