Black gold that we get for free

Black gold that we get for free
It was tough convincing other siblings to have a compost pit in our property. There always has been a compost pit in Hayes Road, from my grandparents time and we always fed the plants with compost from the pit. Today practitioners of sustainable living like me call compost ‘black gold.’ And if you don’t compost you don’t really care about the planet.

Today a wet waste pit or composter is fashionable and with the BBMP breathing down our necks about what is considered wet waste or not, the pit is a god send. Infact it it only after three years when the BBMP has made fining a norm if segregation of waste is not followed, others in the building are being careful.

BUT, there is always a but. How does one educate those who do not want to be educated about what to put in the pit and what gets dumped in the trash?? In fact the BBMP is going through the waste and catching the culprits across the city which is the only way. Makes me glad as it’s a shame, it’s the educated who don’t care.

Over the years since this pit has been constructed, I have stood alongside the maali of the moment and watched him turn the stuff in there and add an accelerator. Once a month we take a trolley load out and feed the plants. But what makes me see red is when the poor man inspite of gloves and gumboots, has to drag out coconut husks, complete tender coconut shells, large sticks, seed pods of the Gulmohur tree above and poky bougainvillea clippings, which rip his hands. Today he also dragged out heaps of mango seeds, plastic bags and empty medicine strips. Paper cuts are the worst.

But, between us we were able to take out one whole trolley load of beautiful, warm compost which we fed the heliconias and the Ixoras. Robin loaded the trolley with a heavy load, which he fed the back lawn, which had taken a battering from the rain as it’s on a slope.

Once in six months I buy an accelerator off Amazon. Frankly, I coral Steve to do the job of buying for me and we sprinkle the accelerator once a week over the stuff. In the old days one never got this fancy accelerator and in the beginning I used a slurry of cow dung which Dad used, which has become as difficult to get as hens teeth, today.

The Daily Dump accelerator, with added microbes is the best, and can be bought off Amazon with free delivery. One tablespoon is all one needs for the week and if wet, the job gets done faster, with breaking down the waste. It’s amazing to see the thick watermelon rinds, pineapple heads, musk melon skins, orange rinds along with Sweet corn skins et al, get turned into warm, sweet smelling compost, which the plants wait to enjoy.

I have taught hundreds of my students to go the wet waste compost way. They literally have become ambassadors of composting and it fills me with a sense of pride that the colleges I work in have begun doing the same. Kids who live in tiny apartments have bought the Daily Dump Khambhas and have moved their families to compost.

This is the ONLY way we can get our beautiful city back. Cut back on plastic and compost our own wet waste. Then less goes out into the landfill. I dread to think about the leachate which oozes out through the cracks into the groundwater. Whole villages drinking water is being destroyed by our careless disposal of waste.

We need to band together to make wet waste disposal a thumb rule to live by and only then will there be some hope for our planet going forward.

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