Residents of apartment complex reap benefits by segregating waste at source

Residents of Seabrooke Apartments on 4th Seaward Road, Valmiki Nagar, do not shop for garden compost. Fresh manure is made available right in their complex; it is generated from the kitchen waste collected from each of the 43 flats. Flat owners Rani Thomas and Mrs Babu Joseph will vouch for the effectiveness of the initiative. Their indoor plants are healthy and robust. The apartment lawns are equally verdant with tender plants beginning to bloom. Even the withering dry leaves are collected in bins and converted into manure. “We are saving up to Rs.7,000 a year by using our own manure to nourish the plants in the apartment complex,” says V. Srinivasan, secretary, Seabrooke Apartment Owner’s Association.

Every day, two housekeeping staff collect the bio-degradable waste from each flat and by 10.30 a.m. they are emptied into compost bins. The watchman and gardener churn the waste and add the appropriate agent to accelerate the process of decomposition. The recyclable waste is collected by the conservancy staff. Getting started on this initiative was not easy. “The challenge was to see cent per cent compliance as we have a good number of tenants and owners.

Initially, there was a lot of inhibitions because of the stench emanating from the bins. We dealt with this by adding an odour-free solution,” says Mr. Srinivasan. Today, almost all residents are favourable to the idea of segregating waste, he says. A resident volunteer is sent to advise those, who are not.

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