Mumbai, the city that never sleeps!
During the daily hustle-bustle, who has time to actually care for the environment in this city?
If your answer is inching towards a no, you might really consider changing it.
For residents at a housing society in Mulund, a suburban Mumbai neighbourhood, have taken the task of saving the environment upon themselves.
For the past one year, residents of Marathon Onyx have not just composted organic garbage, but also recycled other waste materials and undertaken rainwater harvesting.
According to Hindustan Times, the residents have treated more than six tons of biodegradable waste and over a ton of recyclable waste. “We have kept records for each day as to how much waste was generated and treated. On average, 25-30 kilogram of waste is being fed into compost bins,” Rakhee Mehta, a resident, who looks after composting told HT.
A huge bin is used for the composting process that is able to manufacture more than 400 kg of compost at one go. “The bins are called bio-bins or bio-digester bins and were imported from Kochi. They are made from fibre reinforced plastic (FRP), which is helpful for a better yield,” Rakhee said.
Taking the initiative seriously, she added that since the composting did not initially yield the expected results, she went to Kochi personally to understand the entire process. The association has currently installed 2 such bins and the resultant compost is used as manure for the lawn every 25 days.
In order to reduce wastage of water, and have lesser dependence on municipal water supply, the residents harvest rainwater. A chamber is used for storing the water and later transferred to a borewell; the water is eventually utilised for cleaning purposes.
The society also actively manages recyclable waste materials.
“Items such as cardboard, wrappers, styrofoam, glass, metal, among others, are deposited at recycling collection centres every fortnight. We deposit more than 100 kilograms of recyclable waste every month. There is hardly any waste left for the municipality now,” said Shrishti Buch, another resident, who is an active member of the green brigade.
Despite the initial challenge of convincing and seeking the involvement of all the residents, the society managed to cross the hurdles. “We provided three dustbins for segregation of waste. In the beginning, there was confusion among residents over management of waste and we received complaints about stench emanated from the bio-bins. But we achieved the end result by overcoming the initial hiccups,” Shrishti added.
Sonal Shah, who is the director of Marathon Realty and resident of the society as well, suggested that the initiative be part of all their projects. “We decided to do something for the environment and what better than making our city green? We needed co-operation from the residents and fortunately we got it. You can’t do such a thing alone,” she said.
“Landfills are affecting people’s health. Composting, rainwater harvesting and other such projects are not complex to adopt and doesn’t require massive investment,” she added.
Now, the society plans on having solar installations and turning towards a greener lifestyle. “We are doing research on installation, pricing and other process. Once through, we’ll have solar panels as well,” Sonal said.