Bengaluru’s wet waste to turn manure for urban gardens
Urban gardeners can now get quality manure as the Karnataka Compost Development Corporation Ltd. (KCDC), which hitherto sold compost only to bulk buyers like farmers, has now entered the urban market segment. Interestingly, KCDC uses Bengaluru city’s wet waste to make compost and vermicompost for gardening enthusiasts.
KCDC showcased these products for the first time at the ongoing Krishi Mela of the University of Agricultural Sciences-Bengaluru.
KCDC chairman S. Mahadevaiah told The Hindu that the corporation was trying to get space at the Seeds Corporation in Hebbal besides Lalbagh to set up its sales counters. In addition to this, it will be available at all wet waste processing centres of the BBMP. The initiative is mainly aimed at catering to the demand for organic farming, which is catching up.
Presently, Bengaluru city generates 4,500 tonnes of waste a day, including 2,500 tonnes of wet waste. BBMP authorities have set up seven processing units to process wet waste of which three are shut. The four working units do not operate to their full potential.
H.R. Sathish, vice-president of KCDC, pointed out that it was possible to put an end to the problem of landfills – garbage being dumped in quarry pits and vacant spaces – if the government and BBMP set up the required infrastructure to process wet waste. This not only resolves the garbage problem, but also helps farmers and urban gardeners, he noted.
It is possible to process only 600 tonnes of wet waste a day now despite the availability of huge raw material. This yields only 70 to 90 tonnes of compost a day. It is possible to produce 600 tonnes of compost a day if the entire quantum of wet waste is processed, he said.
Presently, KCDC supplies manure to farmers at subsidised rates. But the government has reduced the subsidy grant given to farmers. Hence, the sale of manure to farmers has been slightly affected, said Mr. Mahadevaiah.
For urban consumers, the prices of compost have been fixed as ₹25, ₹60, ₹90, and ₹310 for bags of one, three, five, and 25 kg, respectively. Similarly, for vermicompost, prices have been fixed at ₹50, ₹120, ₹200, and ₹500 for bags of one, three, five, and 25 kg, respectively.
Producing CNG from city’s wet waste
The Karnataka Compost Development Corporation has proposed to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to allow it to take up production of CNG from Bengaluru city’s wet waste.
KCDC vice-president H.R. Sathish said the proposal was financially feasible. CNG thus generated would help in earning extra revenue besides being environmentally friendly, he said.