Orchid Towers Cooperative Housing Society, a 108 flat housing complex located in Baner, Pune won the 3rd prize at the recent Swachh Awards given away by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) at an awards ceremony on October 2nd, 2016. Orchid Towers was awarded in the category of housing complexes for best practices in solid waste management. The chief guest at the ceremony was Shri Ajit Pawar, who gave away the trophy in the presence of Shri Prashant Jagtap, Mayor of Pune & Shri Kunal Kumar, Commissioner of Pune Municipal Corporation. On the side of the society, the Chairman of the society Mr. Srinivas Murthy and the Secretary Ms. Swapna Narayan were present.
The society composts all its kitchen waste in compost pits as per design and specifications of INORA. 55 kg of waste is treated every day. The project was started in 2013. This was much before the PMC began to enforce rules of waste segregation and in-situ composting.
The society has 2 housekeeping staff that have been trained to collect waste door to door in segregated manner. Extensive efforts have also gone in to make residents aware of their responsibilities towards segregation. The wet waste is then treated at the compost pits. There are 10 pits of size 5’x4’x3′, 3 of which work on the vermicompost principle and 7 with standard bio-composting. The housekeeping staff use INORA’s Decomposition Culture, IVEM and INO Tricho as cultures to speed up decomposition in the absence of odours and pests.
There is no use of machinery or electricity and so far no complaints have been received from any residents with respect to odours or pests. The construction of pits with 4″ cement concrete base, mesh lid covers and shed ensures that no large animals such as dogs or cats get into the pits. The system is protected from rain. The cement layer at the bottom and brick construction prevents rodents from burrowing into the pits. Housekeeping staff spend 2 hours a day for collection from 108 households and take another 20 mins to operate the pits.
The dry waste and reject waste is handed over to the SWaCH Cooperative of which the reject waste finally ends up in the municipal system. So far almost 60 tons of kitchen waste has been processed over the 3 years. Every 3 – 4 months, compost is harvested, sieved and used in the gardens or provided to residents for their use.
The society also produces garden waste. Most of the leaf waste is composted in bags recommended by INORA. Cultures are used to convert the leaf waste into leaf mould compost. Other organic materials such as coconuts, branches and twigs which cannot easily be composted are handed over to INORA’s Garden Waste Collection Service. The garden waste service provides the collected material to NGOs such as Vasundhara Abhiyan who use it for composting. The compost is eventually fed as manure to saplings.
The society looks forward to improving their waste management system by progressing to a three way segregation system.
For more details on Orchid Towers, please contact the Secretary of the Society, Ms. Swapna Narayan