Chennai

Composting makes a comeback

The composting bins at Kalikambal temple in Parrys | Photo Credit: ANDREA DIAS
Liffy Thomas 02 October 2017 13:26 IST
Updated: 02 October 2017 13:26 IST

Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple is restarting this old initiative using a new process

The backyard of Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple in Gandhi Nagar is getting spruced up. Intuition may lead you to believe this is being done for the Navarathri celebrations. But the clean-up is being carried out to facilitate a green — and yellow — initiative.

Three green-and-yellow pots would be placed here. Now, if you are visualising something like a pot the proverbial crow threw stones into, stretch you power of visualisation, really big. Though called pots, they are anything but pots, but huge bins.

All the wilted flowers and other offerings at the temple would be deposited in them as part of a composting initiative.

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On October 5, Exnora Green Pammal, along with and the temple management, will launch the composting process with these three Daily Dump aagas (huge compost bins).

Composting is not new at this temple, and so, what is new about this initiative, you may want to know.

To recall an old initiative, in 2015, a few temple devotees initiated composting by placing all the temple flowers and other perishable items in two ringed-like structures. Residents of a nearby apartment complex also contributed to the initiative. The compost generated from the waste was supplied to the Adyar Cancer Institute to grow plants there. The practice continued for over a year and was discontinued due to manpower shortage.

That’s when Exnora Green Pammal (EGP) approached them with another composting model, sponsored by ITC Limited.

“We are the technical partners who will be training the staff and hand-holding them for a year,” says Mangalam Balasubramanian, founder, EGP.

She says aagas are air-tight chambers that are easy to use. Compred to the huge ring-like structures, these aagas don’t take up much space.

Each of the aagas can hold 250 kilos of waste. It takes 45 to 60 days for the waste to decompose and two people are required to take care of the process. EGP is already working at Kapaleeshwara Temple in Mylapore, where sludge from the biogas plant and flower waste go into the organic composter.

EGP also has a plan to introduce similar composting methods at Vadivudaiamman temple in Tiruvottiyur and at the Murugan temple in Vadapalani.

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