Chennai’s First Ever Lane Composter – Kalyani

Everyday, we as individuals and citizens, knowingly or unknowingly generate large amounts of waste. Right from a chocolate wrapper to the leftovers from our plate, we have been producing waste in quantities that are unfathomable to ourselves. Over the years, as cities grew, modernisation & urbanization only made this problem become much worse than it already was. 

In an effort to combat and put an end to this concern, E.F.I along with ROKA (Residents of Kasturbanagar Association) had come up with Kalyani, Chennai’s first ever lane composter.

Just like any other compost, a lane composter is one that collects waste from a local community and is then used as a compost that converts green waste into meaningful products! 

What is it made of?

Kalyani is a metallic structure in the form of a cubical box. It has holes in the bottom through which greenhouse gasses such as methane from the green waste are let to pass. The holes also provide ventilation for the composter. Four pipes placed inside the box also allow these gasses to pass through.

The structure also has a chamber with an outlet with a tap in the bottom that allows for leachate produced to be collected.

How does it work?

The compost is made using three inputs. Dry waste, green waste and microbes. The compost is first filled with a layer of dry waste that includes dry leaves, dead twigs, and saw dust. Then it is filled with green waste that consists of kitchen waste, leftovers, rotten vegetables and fruits, and more. Finally, microbes-infused cocopeat is added to the compost. 

The same layering method is followed until the compost is filled to maximum capacity. The compost is then mixed on a daily basis to make sure microbes act on all parts of it. The compost has a maximum capacity of 750 kg. The compost once filled is left closed for 45 days, until it is finally ready to be harvested.

What do you get from it?

Two products are achieved through the composter. 1. Organic Manure 2. Leachate.

Organic manure is obtained from the compost when all the organic waste decomposes and is acted upon by microbes. This can later be used to help the growth of any plant or tree in our surroundings. 

Leachate comes in the form of a liquid as a result of being processed by the composter. This can later be further diluted and be used as an organic fertilizer!

How has it been working so far?

Kalyani currently resides in the E.F.I office where she is fed by organic waste that is donated by the community itself. Through the months of May to August, local schools and residents have given their green waste that helped her generate more manure!

We thank all those who have supported us in giving life to Kalyani and countless trees across Chennai!

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