In an effort to reduce the landfill waste in the capital, a few environment-conscious individuals are composting their organic daily waste through a system, which helps reduce emissions of methane, the powerful greenhouse gas produced from decomposition of organic waste in landfill sites.
Designed by south Indian state, Bangalore-based Poonam Bir Kasturi, the system called Daily Dump - a three-tiered terracotta container that works on the principle of aerobic
decomposition-produces dark coloured, sweet smelling and nutrient rich soil material, compost, in about 90 days.
"I wanted to change the widespread perception of waste management as something that is to be done by the Government.
People think composting is not my job," says Kasturi, a graduate from National Institute of Design, a multi-disciplinary institution in field of design education in India who initiated the project in 2006.
"Our home waste is 50 to 70 per cent organic, so keeping this off the streets can reduce the mess on the streets by 60 per cent, that's a big impact," she says.
There are around 5,000 customers using daily dump all over India and for a family of four, it takes one time investment of Rs 1,800 to get the system installed.
To take the venture across India, a 'clone' system has been put in place. Clones sell Daily Dump terracotta composters in their localities. Each clone gets lot of free knowledge and support from the clone community which in turn helps to create more clones in the region.
For now, at least the Daily Dump prefers not to go the franchisee route for scaling up its operations.
"The franchisee model works well in some cases, in composting, I am not so sure, so I am experimenting. My interest is to try and change behaviour and creating a large centralised business is not the priority. So when you set such
a goal, then you view traditional ideas of competition, market share, wealth etc through new ways," says Kasturi.
With two clones already in operation in Delhi, the organisation says its working to get more and more people involved in the initiative.
There are around 100 people actively using this system in the capital. According to estimates, nearly 10,000 tonnes of waste is generated everyday in Delhi.
"The number of people buying Daily Dump is higher but they are not able to maintain it regularly," says Saloni, one of the clones in Delhi.
Shalini, a city-based housewife is happy with the system and is excited to see her first compost to use it in her garden.
"My daily waste has come down by 50 per cent after installation of daily dump. It requires regular monitoring but its not difficult. We can do that much at least for the
environment," she says.
Saloni even got the system installed in Nagaland House and Maharashtra House.
Another clone in Delhi, Prateek Varma says they are spreading through word of mouth and friends and soon plan to collaborate with bigger composters to manage the waste.
Daily Dump also has its presence in US, Brazil and Chile and people are enthusiastically taking the system.
Apart from that, books for children to make them environment-conscious are also published.
"We believe that providing opportunities for making connections, uncovering stories, and talking about our context is one way of making young people understand issues of ecology, sustainability and democracy," says Kasturi.