Despite the Solid Waste Management Rules (2016) that mandates housing societies to dispose of biodegradable waste on-premises, people recklessly dispose of waste without any control.

“Every apartment and complex is supposed to compost their waste at the source, but 90 percent fail to do so,” says Kerala-based pharmaceutical scientist, Dr CN Manoj.

“Imagine this – Bangalore has 50,000 apartments, Hyderabad would have a lakh of them, and Mumbai would have two lakh apartments,” he says.

He goes on, “If they take care of their waste that can be converted into compost, tonnes of this waste would not be dumped in landfills.”

In 2021, he launched his venture ‘Kenterra’ to help apartments in Kerala and Bengaluru affordably and scientifically dispose of waste.

He has developed a natural composting inoculum called Composorb that converts all biodegradable waste into a nutrient-rich organic planting media.

In this method, the solid and liquid waste is sandwiched between spongy matrixes. Other than moisture, the matrix also adsorbs stench and obnoxious gases.

“This fungus-based inoculum completely decomposes all biodegradable waste into soilless planting media. Usually, we add 100-200 grams of compost with soil, but with this, we can convert thousands of kilos of waste into compost,” he says.

This has proved to be a game-changer for 200 apartments and complexes in Kerala and Bengaluru that were struggling with waste disposal challenges.

For this, Kenterra charges about Rs 350 per month per house. Dr Manoj informs that they are able to manage about 10,000 kg of waste every day.