Mrinal Rao and Anjana Aiyyer, two Bengaluru-based entrepreneurs, have come up with a brilliant bin that recycles wet and organic waste right at the source, collecting the by-products separately for use in a hassle free manner.
They call it ORBIN – a device for conversion of waste from the kitchen and garden into nutrient rich compost and liquid manure fertilizer.
“There are many other products and ways in which one can compost waste at home. But most of them need prior arrangements and a lot of time. One has to fit containers with air tight covers and the process requires multiple steps of churning, drying, etc. Moreover, people are not able to comfortably harvest the compost and the liquid nutrients separately,” says Mrinal. She adds that organic waste is composed of 80% moisture, which, when recycled, can be utilised in many ways.
Made of reinforced fibre glass, ORBIN is corrosion free and its two wheels make it easy for users to move it anywhere in the house. The bin uses an aerobic composting method in which decomposition of organic matter takes place in the presence of oxygen, using enzymes to break down the waste. The enzyme is basically a composting accelerator called ORBIN Bioclean, made especially for the bin.
“It will be very useful for the environment if we can treat all our organic waste at home and allow only dry waste to go out. But the problem is that waste is not segregated properly at source and the entire mixture ends up in landfills. We wanted to solve this problem so that dry waste can easily be recycled and reused in lucrative ways,” says Mrinal, who is an avid organic farmer and composting enthusiast. Her co-founder Anjana has over twenty years of experience in civic and environmental issues, with special focus on solid waste management.
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The duo worked on this idea for years before coming up with the final product in the form of a compact bin.
In order to use ORBIN, one has to dump organic waste like fruit peels, egg shells, tea leaves, etc., in it and sprinkle an enzyme on the waste. The enzyme decomposes the waste and the solid and liquid nutrients are collected in different compartments. The liquid nutrient can be used to water plants or as a natural pesticide, while the solid compost is a great ingredient for creating fertile soil.
The top lid of the bin has a mesh-like arrangement to let the air circulate easily so the waste does not stink. Instead of lifting heavy pots and moving them around, as is required in some home-composting techniques, users just have to put waste from one end of the bin and harvest manure from the other.
The 90 cm high and 50 cm wide bin does not need electricity. It has a capacity of 100 litres and takes an area of about two by two feet, which is more like a washing machine in the house. One can add 2 kg of waste to it every day. After the waste is added for the first time, it takes about 30-40 days for it to be recycled. After that, the process becomes continuous, with waste being added every day.
The bin should be placed away from direct sunlight or rain.
Mrinal and Anjana started working on this project with their own funds. They believe that if everyone composts their kitchen and garden waste, the world will be much cleaner with no landfills to pollute the air and ground water.