The biodegradable waste treatment plant at Murikkady, started in 2009, has become a permanent source of income for the workers employed here. It has a vermicompost unit producing manure. The Clean Kumily and Green Kumily Society, which paved the way for setting up the plant, is making an income of Rs. 60,000 per month through the sale of manure and collection of waste.
“In fact, the waste collection was started on a small scale in 2006 but after the formation of the society the plant provided a solution to manage all the biodegradable waste generated in the Kumily grama panchayat,” said the society manager Aisy Prasanth.
Currently, the plant employs 20 workers. The manure produced at the plant is in great demand, especially among the cardamom planters.
The manager said it took at least 90 days for the vermicompost unit to produce manure from the waste. She added that at times the society was not able meet the demand from the buyers.
A grade manure is sold at a rate of Rs.6 per kg and the second grade is sold at Rs.3 per kg. She said the product was popular among farmers since cow dung was also added to the manure.
The society charges Rs.150 to Rs.3, 000 for the collection of waste depending on the quantity. The workers collect waste from hotels, resorts, vegetable shops and even from the venue of a function such as a marriage.
They also collect waste from household units in areas where more number of people are staying.
The society’s executive committee has representatives from the business community, the police, the Periyar Tiger Reserve and the agriculture office.
The grama panchayat president is the chairman of the society.