5 Composting Stories from Daily Dump
As we go into our 15th year, we did a reflection and asked our team members to write small stories on their own experiences with waste and composting.
Here we have 5 stories of colleagues who have composters at home and talk of how this weaves into their daily lives.
Came home after a long day at work and went straight to my balcony garden. The 3 full bloomed roses were a sight to sore eyes. It’s the one place that manages to relax me after a hectic and tiring day of staring at the laptop!
I turn around to see my Kambha, waiting to be fed it’s food for the day. So I go into the kitchen and bring out the small pink bucket full of evidence of what was cooked and consumed! There were spinach roots, papaya seeds, orange peels, onions peels and other food waste from the day! I take the pink bucket to the balcony, open the lid and empty the contents into my restless Kambha! Covered the waste with remix like one covers the dead with soil and felt satisfied that the waste would turn into compost in 30 days and would be used to grow more food!
Now I would go and sleep in peace.
After I finish cutting veggies for the morning's cooking, I collect the peels and carry it to my Khamba which is just outside my kitchen. I venture into the cold and sometimes wet ground and put these in my khamba making sure that the neighbours don’t spot me because I am not in the mood to have a long chat about what I cooked and what she cooked. Then I get back and see another pile ready to be put in from the Salad my sister has made. Then the whole things repeats but I am not lucky this time and end up chatting with the neighbour and her maid.
What used to be a chore before, suddenly isn't. I still remember how, as a child, it was my duty to take the plastic bucket filled with mixed waste out to the pit at the end of the street. But now, each morning before breakfast, I reach out to the black plastic box which has collected all the wet waste from the previous day. It's intriguing to see what Usha, my maid, has thrown into it. Sometimes I find produce that could've been used thrown in along with the rest of the waste - half a perfect looking garlic, some beautiful looking curry leaves, some palak. I heave a frustrated sigh, and take it to the composter anyway.
It's lovely to see the different colours falling on the brown of the Remix Powder from yesterday. The ants scamper away, sometimes there's a lizard that jumps out, and sometimes the maggots are thriving so much within that it looks like the compost pile is breathing. It's exciting to see how much life exists within "waste".
As I toss it all in, I look around at the plants in my balcony that are reaping the benefit of the compost produced from my so called waste.
The green looks greener every day!
I take care of the composter in my house. Every morning around 8 before I leave for work I add my previous day’s waste to my khamba. We have a cook who comes in the evenings. I have asked her to keep all the kitchen waste in a box, which I then cut into smaller pieces sometimes, close and keep in the fridge so it doesn’t smell or attract fruit flies. Sometimes my husband has to be pushed to add it in the box and keep it back in the fridge but that story is for another day.
In the mornings it usually goes without any hassle. My dog, Pixie, usually follows me as I take the waste box from my fridge and run to the balcony. She always thinks it’s food which she can pounce on. I mix some remix powder into the waste, and add it all to the Khamba, after swatting away fruit flies which always find their way into the composter. It’s hardly a 2 minute job. I then layer more remix powder, close the lid and shoo my curious dog out of the balcony. It’s something that’s become part of my daily routine and weighs in on my head if I don’t complete it one day. So I try and get it done each day.
My Sister was asked to do a science project on vermicomposting. I was her little helper. My role was to collect waste from the kitchen and give it to her. Both of us diligently did the process as mentioned in the instruction manual. It was our daily routine after school. Both of us did not know what to expect out of the project.
I still remember the day we saw earthworms in the pile. We were so ecstatic. We immediately became friends with them. Adding waste to the pile did not feel like a routine after that. We have been composting ever since.
Now, after shifting to a flat with a small balcony we lost our composter. Eventually we did find a composter that could fit in our balcony. We got one for food waste and one for composting flowers. Every afternoon, I take the kitchen waste and pooja flowers and compost them in the respective composters. The mini jungle has now become a favourite spot for my little furry boy. Every day, after his morning walk he will laze there for few hours before retiring for his nap.
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