While many of the big, upscale condominiums in Gurugram have been struggling to segregate their waste and manage wet waste by themselves via composting, this small society of 43 flats in Sector 55 has been quietly recycling its waste for the past five years.
Vastu Apartments has not only been segregating its dry and wet waste but also composting around 40 kg of wet waste daily in their composting unit into manure to be used in their open society space. Lately they have been generating excess compost allowing them to sell or donate it to nearby societies or house owners.
“We started composting our wet waste around four years ago. At present, only about 5-10 kg of dry waste generated daily in the society leaves our premises,” said Ajay Nayar, convenor of the RWA of the society. “In fact, we also take care that the electronic waste generated is disposed according to the safe norms. It is collected by the residents and disposed once a month according to proper waste management methods”
Explaining how the concept of setting up of the composting machine had first started, Nayar said that four years ago when the idea was first floated, it didn’t receive support from the RWA because of the expenses involved. “This is when eight residents had come forward and collected money among themselves to construct the composting plant. Now, it just costs us a mere Rs 4,000 per month to run the plant and manage all our wet waste.”
He adds that composting unit has been a success because of the willingness of the residents. “Initially, it took us a couple of weeks to make people understand the entire process of segregating the waste and why it was important but since then the residents have been following it without any problems. In fact, whenever we have a new tenant or owner shifting on the premises, we always update them on the process,” said Nayar.
The society has a huge green area, and dry leaves and foliage from the garden is also added to the composting units.
Asked about the reasons why setting up of a composting unit on the premises is never on the priority list of residents, society managements and builders, Nayar points to mindsets and general apathy towards the garbage disposal.
“People are complacent and give reasons like who will segregate the waste and take care of the unit. They have a mental block towards garbage that it gives out stench. No one wants to take up the responsibility and don’t want to bear the cost,” he adds.
He even blamed the civic authorities for their lack of interest in the area. “Unlike other Indian states where the authorities seem to be serious in implementing this law at the grassroots level, no one is bothered here. We are living in times when towering buildings and towers of trash are inching higher with each passing day, if we don’t take appropriate steps now, we will never have a clean, green and safe tomorrow.”