ORGANIC COMPOSTING IN A BIN

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                        Organic waste can be recycled at the household level to produce compost manure. Composting is the most simple and common method for recycling household organic waste. Composting is the process of optimizing the environment in the waste for microbial activity to decompose organic matter into valuable nutrients for the soil. Household composting involves the following three stages: waste preparation, degradation of waste and finishing of waste.

Waste Preparation

                 Waste needs to be sorted and prepared for rapid degradation. This includes the following steps:

                   Mix the waste to ensure that the carbon to nitrogen ratio (C:N) is close to 25:1. If the waste has too much carbon (normally brown waste such as dried leaves, saw dust) it should be mixed with waste that has high nitrogen content (also known as green waste such as kitchen waste). Kitchen waste only normally has a suitable C:N ratio for composting.

                    Chop the waste into small pieces. Large pieces of organic waste should be cut to small pieces to accelerate the composting process. Adjust the moisture content to about 50 per cent. A compost pile with 50% moisture should feel moist but water should not be dripping from it. Add a starter such as mature compost or effective microorganisms (EM) to speed up the composting process.

In-vessel composting

                  Compost can be made in bags or bins. Normally holes are made in the bin or bags to allow aeration. Compost bins can be made from 100 to 200 liter plastic bins or barrels. In order to allow proper aeration, the bin is normally divided into two sections with a grill separating the two sections. Organic waste is put into the top section and allowed to degrade and once the compost is prepared it is removed from the bottom section. Because of the natural draught created in the bin by the grill and the holes, frequent turning of the waste is not required in this method.

 

Why compost organic waste?

To manage the waste problem

                 We know that waste is a huge problem in many cities of developing countries and that organic waste represent almost 80% of the amount of waste. By composting this organic waste, we can help alleviate a large part of the waste management problem.

To produce a new useful and valuable product 

                 Knowing that chemical fertilizers are mining the soil and are not available for every potential client (they are often expensive and not always accessible), we can offer a more accessible product that is eco-friendly available at a stable price.

To reduce Greenhouse gas emissions


            In opposition to uncontrolled anaerobic fermentation of organic waste in landfills, compost and the composting process do not produce methane and therefore do not add any Greenhouse gas to the atmosphere. Methane has a global warming potential 24 times stronger than CO2.

To produce organic fertilizer

                     
The demand for organic food is increasing in Kathmandu valley, but organic farmers experiment a lack of fertilizer, as chemicals can’t be used in organic farming.

NOTE: Writer is no expert this are his experience as part of training on Bio Degradable Solid Waste Management  in Bin. The training was organized by Global Powershift Nepal to as training to trainer.  

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Community Built by Community : A story from Pharping

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                   A community outskirts of Kathmandu valley with slight uphill and downhill bumpy roads gets connected to capital proudly exhibits its communal innovations and ownership. A model town recently turned into municipality encompasses sense of oneness, co-operation, mutual benefits and desperate need to catch up with development. The traditionally Newari town is slowly accepting all kinds of caste’s along with burgeoning Buddhist among hillside periphery is truly reflected with chants and bustling monks. Slowly and steadily globalization is engulfing life and people want to see changes within their tenure. The local leaders, developmental workers, intellectuals, social workers share their story with us, the locality they envisioned, the hardship they fought for to bring such beauty and changes in town and challenges for further.

                              TUDE (Tourism Development Endeavor) a parent organization nurturing “ I am power shifter” campaign for Global Power Shift Nepal (a initiative supported by 350.org) helps to break glass between power shifter and local experts. The venue which witnessed this conversation was none other than “ A school for community” Sheshnarayan – 4, Pharping. We were so glad to hear and share our cause. The struggle, contribution and changes made by Niraj Shrestha (Developmental worker and Principal of School) and Sashi Sharma Aryal (Former Principal, V.D.C Secretary and Local Developmental expert) really inspired us. We were glad that we would also contribute to some extent in community to lead it as model community.

                                       We took tour around community school, community hospital and community centre named Shikharpur Sustainable Farmers School. The community farmer school was real piece of innovation and triggered me so much as it was build out of alcohol bottles left around Dakisnkali temple premises. The bottles were used as bricks mixed with locally available mud (mud + hays mix). The roof was covered by locally available hays. The centre was built by foreigners and local people’s active participation as farmers school. The various skill generating trainings are conducted periodically in house to empower local community and plant seed for socio-economic improvement of locals. The resource centre itself includes creative and innovative ways for solid waste management area, ground water recharge system and organic farming. The farmers school excited our hopes and enthusiasm.

                            We roamed around city peering through various Newar communities settlement, temples, stupas and playing grounds. Finally leading to holy shrine of Dakinsinkali, what intrigued us was how improperly solid waste were squandered without thinking environmental degradation, lets forget about how much values could be generated. The stinking, sharp smell caught our nose. We had no choice except to cover our mouths, mentally we thought solution for them.

                                              This was reason why power shifter were on town. We had planned to make random sampling about waste management of underprivileged village where it will be harbinger of change and generate values out of waste. As per discussion with rural experts in Chautari of KOPU (a most back ward village on ward no 6 of Daisnkali Municipality) was the location where power would to shift. As early morning downhill with Mr. Sharma took us to Chautari discussion and random list of 25 houses were selected for survey with local participation. The data are under review, soon power shifter team will be moving to Pharping for actual power shift i.e managing and equipping local who will be good enough to handle local waste for environmental, social and economic values.

My Learning:

  • To work as individual and team member motivating, leading and following

  • To interact with experts, team’s and local people

  • To brief, update and channelize team vision

  • To travel (see, believe, learn and share )

  • To make deep imprint on canvass of my memory of place, people food as a whole to change mindset

Photo Credit: Sanjay