Thursday, 22 October 2015

City Home Composting..... the simplest way of Kitchen Waste Composting

City Home Composting

        This is the simplest and the cheapest way of Kitchen Waste Composting for the city dweller
                               The composting bag 

The fresh contents of the bag

The End Product ( sugarcane in the process of getting composted)


My primary purpose of composting –  I started composting mainly for managing the wet waste from the kitchen which many times constitutes more than 80% by volume of the total daily household  garbage. While doing this, I never wanted  to increase work for the people at home. ( Otherwise, soon people will lose interest in the activity.)

The Achievement – The daily garbage from my home has dropped to about 10% by volume of the earlier garbage.

The Modus Operandi of  home composting
1) Purchase a nylon bag of suitable size.   (See picture above. You get it in all sizes , shapes and colors. For ease of operation, I use 1.5’ X 1.5’ X 8”)
2) Put  5 to 6 folded newspaper pages at the bottom of the bag. This prevents dripping of the liquid ( compost tea) from the bottom and also aids in absorbing extra moisture , creating excellent condition for composting.
3) Start adding all compost- able material. I do not add any extra compost powder to this. If anyone wants to add, it is not a problem.
4) I do not take any extra , special efforts to chop , shred the vegetable waste. Otherwise it will become time and labor intensive, and soon people at home will lose interest in the activity. Just a word of caution, This activity must be taken as whole family activity and not one person’s dream. However ,if someone has time and inclination , chopping and shredding will definitely hasten the process.
In about a month’s time , usable material starts forming ( though the composting process is still on.) For a family of 4 , the above size bag takes about 6 months to fill.

Precautions to be taken –
1)Do not keep this bag in the sun. It ll start tearing apart due to the UV of the sunlight.
2) Do not add extra water ( unless it is totally dry.) This ll start dripping and attract the flies and start smelling.
3) For the first few days ( till the material has fungal growth), do not add any smelly food( fish waste or non-veg). Once the process has set in , these materials can be added  in the middle of the heap and covering from the top as well.
4) The zipper must be always locked. In case,  you ever find any maggots, larvae in the compost heap , do not panic. Flies will be formed in few days and will fly away , when you open zipper.
5) It is advisable to put some dry material like dry leaves or saw dust etc every alternate day on the heap to ensure aerobic conditions. 
6) The composting process may attract rodents  and hence it is advisable to keep it away from their reach.  

Why is it successful – 1) The nylon bag is porous from all sides ensuring aerobic conditions and hence there is no smell. ( Please believe me.)
2) It prevents compacting of the compost just by shaking the bag ( which is lot easier than digging through.)
3) It has zipper at the top , so no flies, insects in search of food can reach the leftover contents.

My secondary purpose of composting – To generate ready soil mix for new plants. For this , I occasionally bring bag-full  waste ( like banana peels, cauliflower leaves etc) from the vegetable market and start composting in an independent bag. Normally , I have 2 or 3 composting bags in operation at any moment.

P.S. – In case of rodent menace, I follow a closed bucket kitchen waste composting.

In case you are planning to start, please feel free to contact me at 

Aniruddha Deshpande

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