Apartment in Bengaluru makes cash out of dry trash | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: For most of us, the term organic waste converter (OWC) is synonymous with a dark, stinky basement filled with boxes of wet garbage surrounded by flies and insects, waiting to be processed into compost.
An apartment complex — DLF Westend Heights Apartment located at Akshay Nagar in Begur — has flipped this picture: Their OWC is not just swanky (with a magnet curtain and effective exhaust) and stink and fly-free, it is also efficient and is helping the community with compost. Residents have stopped paying for waste disposal by managing it within their gates. Apart from using in-house compost, they’re earning Rs 40,000 per month by selling dry waste.
The complex, with 1,830 flats of which 1,500 are occupied by 5,000 residents, generates 15 tonnes of dry waste and 30 tonnes of wet waste every month. Till 2019, a contractor would take away solid waste, but his cost kept increasing. Residents also had no clarity on how their waste was being disposed of. But things changed when they realised that financial and environmental costs of their waste had to be cut.
Kartikeya Khanna, secretary of the executive committee of the apartment’s RWA, said that’s when they decided to start segregation and manage waste inside their complex.
Dr Rashmi Vasanth, member of the RWA’s executive committee, led the volunteers for educating the waste segregation team, and distributed two dustbins and one bag to each household.
Mohi Shaik, a sub-committee member of the RWA, said their next step was to increase the OWC capacity provided by the builder by 500kg a day and make sure it was done in a hygienic manner. Using the OWC meant inviting flies, odour and leachate, as well as annoying residents.
Khanna said they were able to have a clean and efficient OWC by ensuring there was no stagnant water. Wet waste was covered with dry waste to avoid flies, empty crates were cleaned with jet sprays to remove remaining waste and installing electric flycatchers.
“Today, the OWC processes 10 tonnes of wet waste per month. It has a vibrating sieve, 20 crate trolleys and air-handling unit. The compost is sold to residents and external buyers,” said Khanna. The society has committed one tonne of its compost at no cost to any public-plantation project. “The interested can write to compost.whcaowa@gmail.com,” he said.

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