Ramakrishna Mission has launched a startup dedicated to handling wet waste, Mangala Resource Management Institute. Spurred by havoc wrought by the sliding down of waste from the landfill at Pachchanady into Mandarabailu in the monsoon, the startup is striving to ensure zero wet waste is put in the landfill.
Based on the idea of pot composting, the startup will handle wet waste that apartments in the city generate daily. Each household in the apartment must pay a monthly fee of Rs 150 and one-time deposit of Rs 1,000 that will be returned at the end of the third year. Volunteers of the startup will put the household wet waste in a pot compost unit, cover it with a layer of coconut husk, and return the waste bins that will be given with the unit to households.
The units will be placed in parking lots of apartments against pillars in an unobtrusive manner, noted Swami Ekagamyananda, convener of Swachh Mangaluru campaign that the mission ran in the city for five years from 2015. “The startup is an extension of the campaign and is a response to queries from people who were keen to know what our next step of the campaign was,” Swami Ekagamyananda, who announced the launch of the startup, said.
“The startup is also in response to a directive from the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) to all bulk generators of wet waste, including apartments with more than 20 dwelling units, to handle it on their own or face a penalty as per the directive given by the National Green Tribunal,” said Swami Ekagamyananda. “Most of our queries were from resident welfare associations of flats with dwelling units exceeding the norm fixed by MCC,” he said.
The pot composting unit has three made to design pots and comes with an iron guard. The startup will give two small plastic waste bins for the households to alternate their wet waste with the clean bin. Black soldier fly that are attracted to such waste convert it into manure, which the startup is ready to buy back, he said. This novel startup will also ensure that the potters have ample opportunities to earn their livelihood by supplying pots, he said.
While Ramakrishna Mission had mooted the idea of pot composting as part of phase 4 and 5 of the campaign, and had targeted to install pots in 4,000 households, it received bookings for 4,719 pots. The mission thus far has distributed 2,800 pots and 2,500 households are using it effectively, he said. “We are videographing and archiving these success stories,” he said, adding efforts are on to source pots from diverse vendors for this new venture.