A plant at KSHB's apartment complex at Pattoor turns household waste into organic manure.

The residents of the Kerala State Housing Board's apartment complex at Pattoor have set up a garbage disposal plant that turns household waste into saleable organic manure.

The residents claim the plant disposes of the garbage and household waste in a scientific and clean manner.

There are 220 dwelling units in the sprawling apartment complex built in the early 1990s as part of the State government's affordable housing accommodation scheme. The residents say the motorised plant takes less than three hours to segregate and process the huge amount of organic waste, including food leftovers, vegetable, and fish and poultry waste, from the dwelling units.

The process of converting waste to manure is non-polluting and odourless. The manure is removed from the plant every 10 days. A bulk of the manure is used to cultivate vegetables on the rooftop of the complex. The rest is put up for open sale to the public.

The plant cost the residents nearly Rs.5 lakh. The city Corporation and the Kerala State Pollution Control Board had cleared the setting up of the plant. The residents' association set up the plant without any backing from outside. Now, the government has announced that it will subsidise such plants by at least 90 per cent of their cost. The association said it was attempting to get at least a part of the subsidy for augmenting the capacity of the plant. Association president Jayasankar B. Nair said the government should subsidise garbage treatment plants set up by residents of apartment complexes. Now, it seemed the subsidy was extended to plants established at the household level.

Minister for Urban Affairs Manjalamkuzhi Ali commissioned the plant on June 30.

The first lot of organic manure from the plant is ready for open sale. Shashi Tharoor, MP, will open the sale by giving the first packet of the manure to Mayor K. Chandrika at a function scheduled to be held at the complex on Saturday.