Daily dump, a creation of Bangalore-based Poonam Kasturi, enables everyone to make compost at home from household waste
The dos and don’ts of composting
An interview with the entrepreneur
What is composting?
Composting is the decomposition of plant remains and other once-living materials to make an earthy, dark, crumbly substance that enriches soil. It is a process of recycling your kitchen and garden wastes, and is a critical step in reducing the volume of garbage needlessly sent to landfills for disposal.
How old is the composting practice?
It is as old as man. Some cultures practised it more than others. In recent times, its advantages have made it an important part of agricultural practice worldwide. It is gaining recognition as a safe method to regenerate the earth. In the natural world, composting is what happens as leaves pile up on the forest floor and begin to decay. Eventually, living roots reclaim nutrients from the rotting leaves. This completes nature’s recycling process.
Are there different kinds of composting?
Yes, there are three kinds of composting.
• Aerobic composting (compostingwith air – in the presence of oxygen) Daily Dump uses this process.
• Anaerobic composting (composting without air – in sealed spaces)
• Vermicomposting (composting that is speeded up by earthworms)
Is composting recycling?
Yes, because compost is nature’s way of recycling nutrients.
Is weather a factor?
Yes, compost happens faster in warm weather. Our Indian weather is ideal for composting in most parts of the country. We just have to make sure that the moisture is right in places where it gets too hot and dry.
Does composting reduce global warming?
Yes, composting helps prevent global warming by reducing emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that is produced when organic waste decomposes when buried in landfill sites.
How does composting benefit the earth?
Research shows that harmful emissions are reduced if large volumes of organic waste are scientifically managed and converted to compost. The resultant compost is very rich in nutrients for the earth and replenishes top soil without adverse side-effects.
Also, composting reduces the volume of waste that you throw out. After you convert your organic waste into compost, you can reuse the compost in your garden. There, the compost recycles nutrients back into the soil and plant life. Increased plant growth helps to restore the green cover of your neighbourhood. This way composting benefits the earth.
Can compost replace petroleum-based fertilisers?
Yes. Soil needs what compost’s life processes give: nutrients that release their nutrition gradually and in small doses over long periods of time.
Synthetic fertilisers provide quick jolts of nutrition to the plant roots, but in the process, they stymie root development, while compost-enriched soils encourage healthy and abundant root development. Without the life processes that distinguishes composted soil from soil fertilised with synthetic ingredients, the skin of our planet will quickly die.
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