Treat your trash to terracotta

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DAILY DUMP Bangalore Convert kitchen waste to compost

Committed composter:Trupti Godbole.
Committed composter:Trupti Godbole.

Trupti Godbole and Sarita Kotagiri are activists, not the slogan-shouting type but the get-it-done kind. In their quiet way, these two women have, for the past four years, converted their apartment building (Sarovar Apartments, LB Shastri Nagar, Bangalore) into a re-use and recycle zone where nothing is trashed. They’ve convinced other apartment owners in the area to follow suit. And they have uploaded YouTube videos about their experience. They are committed composters. They use Daily Dump.

Daily Dump is the brainchild of Bangalorean and industrial designer Poonam Bir Kasturi. Her premise is stunningly simple: convert your kitchen waste into compost at home using a composter. Daily Dump offers ‘terracotta composters (basically, tiered pots) and various other products for both the home and the larger community. Launched in 2006, Daily Dump operates on an ‘open source’ platform — others can “clone” the concept. “There are 15 other clones” operating presently in the country. There’s also a franchisee in Chile.

“When we began, waste management was not as big an issue as it is now,” points out Poonam. As of August 2012, Daily Dump users were responsible for keeping over 7,000 kgs of organic waste out of landfills. At Sarovar Apartments, four big composters handle 10 kg of organic/kitchen waste daily. Impressive as this sounds, this is still a drop in the ocean. Research shows that Bangalore generates upto 4,500 tonnes of waste per day. “Sixty per cent of that is organic,” Poonam says.

To show people what happens to their trash, Daily Dump conducts a day-long tour called Trash Trail. The trip includes interactions with small-scale entrepreneurs, recyclers, sorters and dealers. Trash Trails are organised based on citizen interest. By the end of October, this year, Poonam will launch Recycle Guru , a website to bring citizens closer to their local recycler. “Log on to Recycle Guru, get the number of your local raddiwala / kabadiwalla , and call him to pick up your waste,” says Poonam. Initially, the website will be Bangalore-specific.

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