Citizen Compost For Farmers

By Marcy Murli on 17 Apr 2018 | read


Dear farmers, growers, and soil lovers,

Daily Dump has pioneered the home composting movement in urban India since 2006. We have been offering urban composting solutions, through innovative products and services, for individuals and communities for the last 12 years in Bangalore and other Indian cities.

We are happy to share that today, as a result of our work, our customers in Bangalore homes (typically apartment blocks) generate close to 20 tonnes of high quality compost every month. We pick up this compost from about 15 communities. There are another 200 odd communities using our community composters who utilise the compost they collectively make, to grow or nourish their gardens or the trees in their neighbourhoods.

Our experience over more than a decade of working with this valuable resource, clearly shows us that with an increasing emphasis on communities to compost, the availability of bulk compost is a growing trend that, unless utilised effectively, can soon become a significant urban issue not just for Bangalore but for other fast-growing cities in the country, aspiring to be Smart Cities.

How so? When most communities and businesses start composting, they typically need to see value in the compost they generate. A large number of apartment complexes and homes in the city do not have adequate space to utilise all the compost they generate. So, very quickly, the presence of bulk compost (that they do not have use for and cannot store) can become a deterrent for the community’s initial enthusiasm to compost. At the same time, studies clearly indicate a visible reduction of biomass in the peri-urban areas in and around our city; due to urbanisation and habitat disturbance.

Closing the loop

Consequently, farmers in these areas do not have easy access to biomass. They are forced to buy or do without this rich resource, that they could once gather or make on their own. As a result, their costs continue to increase, and there is a higher incidence of illness since the food grown is devoid of all the essential nutrients. And most significant for farmers, the soil quality deteriorates and maintains this cycle of increased costs and poor health. Daily Dump has been working on a model to fix this urban-to-rural compost pipeline.

We mature and sieve the collected compost, adding value and enriching it to a quality, suitable for growing food. We then try and find interested farmers, earth regenerators, tree growers, urban farmers, experimenters who are working to put life back into the soil.

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The premise here is that in addition to giving health to the food we eat, compost helps lock carbon into soil through an intricate process that helps infighting climate change.

Farmers need to keep their soil rich and healthy; they need it to be alive and enriched with biomass. Urban citizens need to see the value of managing their waste. They need to see how the compost they make can enable the closure of the broken food cycle and restore the nutrient loop - allowing the nutrients in food waste to be recycled and ploughed back into the soil; rather than litter the roads and go to a dumpsite.

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Closing this compost cycle paves the way for a circular economy - circulating resources rather than using fertilisers that require repeated extraction and utilisation of non-renewable resources (a linear process). Something central to Smart, Resilient cities - the world over. What’s more, every kg of compost thus used, keeps away 4 kg of food waste from homes - food waste that would otherwise have to be hauled long distances to end up in landfills mixed with other materials, creating toxic effects on our land, health and environment.

We look forward to your support and participation in fixing this pipeline. Please do contact us if you're interested in helping to creating this closed-loop system.

Thank you and warm regards,

from the Daily Dump Team