A few months from now, the Nilgiris will see a drastic reduction in its dumped waste, thanks to this new initiative by the Nilgiris Municipality.
The construction of the plant in Kandal, Ooty, was recently inaugurated by District Collector, Ms Innocent Divya, IAS.
Ms Divya spoke to The Better India, and said, “Whether it is the cottages, restaurants, or the markets in Ooty, all of them produce a significant amount of wet waste, amounting to almost 8 tonnes!”
The Nilgiris district municipality decided to change that, by creating an organic waste yard, where the tonnes of wet waste could be converted into organic compost.
This would further the livelihood of farmers, as well as promote organic farming, which in the long-run was much more sustainable.
“There is so much that can be made from waste. With this initiative we hope that we can properly utilise the waste we generate in a sustainable way”, she adds.
So, how does the project work?
Biodegradable waste from around Ooty will be brought to the yard. Here, it will be sprayed with cow dung, and put amongst a solution filled with microorganisms, which will facilitate the process of converting the waste to fertile compost.
According to Ms Divya, in addition to this, the plastic waste will also be segregated from the general waste collected in Ooty, and this will be used in road construction. In fact, they already have a man who takes the plastic and uses it for road construction!
This comes as just a small step in the large vision that Ooty has for its future.
“In the next three years, we plan to be completely pesticide-free and insecticide-free. We are planning to open more plants like this so that we can reach a point where are all our waste is correctly and completely segregated”, says Ms Divya.
Ms Divya is optimistic that the project has long-term benefits for Ooty, adding that the compost generated would be given to several of the state farms that are in Ooty, benefitting the agricultural industry greatly.
She says, “Within the next 3 to 4 months, the construction of the plant will be complete, and immediately afterwards, it will be fully operational, and the municipal authorities will manage it.”
In a report by The Hindu, the project was estimated to cost Rs 38.70 lakh, and was expected to produce 3 tonnes of compost!
The small steps taken to ensure that waste is properly managed has become an increasing concern in several areas in India, and this district is making sure that slowly but surely, sustainability and environmental consciousness will go a long way to not only manage waste, but also utilise it to create, improve, and grow!