Citizens and schoolchildren in the city set up their own vermicompost units

Some citizens in the city have taken up the responsibility of composting the waste upon themselves and producing the much-needed manure for their gardens.

While a resident of Shivabagh composts all the wet waste generated on his premises, a school’s Eco Club in Bolar makes compost out of dry leaves from the plants on the premises.

“I am happy with the compost,” says Nandakishore, an Ayurvedic practitioner, who has taken to the eco-friendly method for the past three years. “The only thing I give to the municipality van is the dry waste,” he adds.

He dumps all domestic wet waste into a vermin. This includes stuff like peels of onion and citrus fruits. He also maintains a bigger pit in which he dumps this waste to produce natural manure.

Rajesh B.K, a bank employee, has been into vermicompost since 2006. A vermibin had been set up on a corner of the house. Apart from leaves and kitchen waste, Mr. Rajesh also makes use of cucumber and other watery vegetables thrown away in the Central Market. “I have found good results. I collect these vegetables once every month.” Apart from using vermicompost for his garden, Mr. Rajesh gives it to his friends and relatives.

School’s initiative

At the Joyland School in Bolar, Class 9 student Ahmed Razuddin and Class 7 student Hariprasad said they love spending time near the vermicompost bin that has been installed on the school premises (pictured above). “It’s good to see earthworms at work from close,” says Razuddin and happily shows an earthworm moving about on his palm. “Some of our classmates get scared watching this crawl,” he laughs.

Mr. Razuddin and Mr. Hariprasad are members of the 30-member strong Eco Club of the Joyland School in Bolar who are making use of two vermin bins that have been installed in the school since July. The bin designed by S. Hareesh Joshy, a retired Zoology Professor of St. Aloysius College, who has helped the school to create vermicompost making use leaves and leftover kitchen waste. “We have stopped burning dried leaves,” says Mr. Hariprasad.

Club’s role

Every Saturday, Eco Club members move around in the school to collect dry leaves. The leaves and kitchen waste are put in different layers with each one separated by a layer of cow dung mixed with water in a vermin bin. After three weeks earthworms are introduced. Twenty days later the vermicompost will be ready. Mathematics teacher Ashalatha K.R. and Science teacher Smitha Manoj helped students separate vermicompost and earthworms, which are then introduced in another bin stocked with leaves and cow dung. From each bin about 20 kg of vermicompost is generated.

This vermicompost is used as natural manure in the garden within the school premises. “Nitrogen, which is necessary for the growth of plants, is highest in this compost,” says Mr. Joshy. The vermiwash (liquid collected from the bin) acts as a natural pesticide. To get a good quality vermicompost it is necessary to avoid dumping onion, citric fruits and non-vegetarian items, he adds. There is a good demand for vermicompost, worms and vermiwash in the market, he says.

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