CHENNAI: P Plastic bags, newspapers, kitchen waste, dead batteries, glass bottles, broken furniture, and a few other things…together this creates a big garbage bag from an average household, all set for its’ journey to a local municipal dust bin. However, Radhika Subramanian's bag is much smaller, courtesy Khamba – the home composter.
Three terracotta pots arranged on top of each other stand in the corner of a narrow balcony, next to the chair where her husband reads newspaper every morning. Radhika opens the top-most pot, dips in and takes a fistful of brown dust with it. She stretches her hand out and says, "Is there any smell coming out of it? No...which is why this is apt for using indoors in small apartments.”
Khamba – a three-tier home composter is designed by Bangalore-based Daily Dump. Radhika's home produces nearly 1 kg of kitchen waste everyday and she diligently throws it in her Khamba and adds a couple of fists of Remix powder.
"Composting is simple. You need wet waste, some remix powder, a spoon or two of this microbe powder every three days. Within a few weeks, you have enough manure for your garden," explains Radhika.
Remix powder is coco peat and dust that will make your wet waste dry. The microbes compost the waste by breaking them down into smaller particles till the contents of the whole pot looks like saw dust. A family of three can use a small Khamba while a bigger family can use a bigger one. While Khamba is exclusive for kitchen waste, Radhika shows a variety of composters for pooja waste, garden waste and community wet waste.
"Leaf composters can be installed in schools and places with a lot of trees. Pooja composters are for flowers and you'll have to water to compost them. Aaga is big pot that can be used in communities that have nearly 30 homes," She adds. Daily Dump has Nano Khambas for kids and Prithvi Khamba, which facilitates earthworm composting for gardens.
Radhika has been segregating her everyday waste into dry and wet for the last two years and these home composters makes life in city easy for her. "Over 60% of everyday waste is composed. If papers, plastics, bottles and e-waste are sent for recycling, most of your garbage will be managed at the source itself. Only about 10-15% of your waste will go to landfills," Radhika says.
Radhika, a graduate of agriculture, founded Radicle Eco Solutions and has persuaded nearly 100 families in Chennai to use these home-composters.