Creating robust community composting systems.

Community Composting is a great enabler in encouraging people to sustain segregation of waste at source. It physically reaffirms the outcome of something happening with waste – everyday. Zero odour composting is something that every community should aspire for.

But community composting can come with challenges.

Fool Proof Systems

When we want to make composting odour less, we need to understand that simple technologies make a huge difference. When we want people to segregate – we need to keep in mind this is an activity that has to happen every day. So right from segregation bins – it has to be a simple streamlined policy. The aim to ensure that 100% composting occurs is to shift people to stop using plastic bin linings, and shift them to zero lining/paper lining of their wet waste bin.

Even while looking at how to compost – pit based systems in our experience are the most effective. Pits can be constructed by local labour – and this is a knowledge that is easily available. Pits also need very minimal maintenance, and last for a very long time. So that’s the hidden benefit for many communities.

Leveraging minimal energy use

When people talk about composting, often the first sight that everyone looks at is – what is the technology. Technology sometimes overlooks a simple price – use of energy/electricity to make composting work. When electricity costs go up, it deters communities from keeping their systems work in place.

From our experience of composting for various societies – we know what’s best – working with nature. Which means, working with smart microbial cultures, that work on composting wet waste at the same rate irrespective of weather changes. This provides odour proof technologies. The added benefit from this is that communities incur much less energy, implying smaller electricity bills.

Bringing community engagement

Spaces between buildings, near the compound wall, within the garden area – are great options for anyone to look at community composting. In some cases, even standalone aesthetical composters make a huge sense. Rather than worrying about – ‘log kya kahenge’, let’s look at the perception shift to ‘log kaise saath aayenge’.

Data on how much waste is generated – how much waste is composted – and how much dry waste is sent to recyclers – can provide the right nudge in communities. Organising dry waste and e-waste drives can be a right step in this direction.

In addition to this, the compost that is generated within the society complex – should be given to avid gardeners. These gardeners and their gardens are powerhouses of creation of natural capital. They are potential biodiversity hotspots right in our backyard. Such initiatives, can unleash the community’s full potential – and encourage more conversations in these communities.

Community waste management is about enabling behavior shifts, at multiple levels. When that is the end goal, we know all the other actions happen as a by-product. Rather than looking at waste management, as a compliance – our take is to make it a fun activity that is affordable and doable in the long run.

Does Composting need space?

Last time around we told you why composting is an art – and how powerful it is. But power comes with responsibility right? All of us agree that in theory and in principle composting makes the most sense. However, the situation may be more difficult and complex to address on ground.

Approximately 55-60% of household waste is wet waste. Let’s take an example of a housing society with 100 flats. Given 80% occupancy status, with an average of 3 people in a flat, we are looking to manage 100 kgs of wet waste in a day. Let’s assume that this society is built before 2016 i.e. did not get any support from builder in terms of compost pits or any other machinery. How can we ensure that no wet waste goes out?

Space is a very critical component in any community living. Here, it becomes imperative to understand what kind of spaces we can incorporate composting without affecting community living. Common challenges that societies face are: odour issues, rodent issues and also – consistent composting of wet waste everyday. The most pressing issue then becomes about ensuring that no resident compromises on their standard of living with a composting pit right below their flat.

Shreeji Paradise, Aundh

In Shreeji Paradise, Aundh – this society had zero space available. But after a long brainstorming with members, the space between compound wall and parking was identified! Till date, not one person who parks their vehicle has complained of any odour. Another society – Yuthika – looked at space close to their parking. Look how this community has transformed their parking space. We’ve been running this project for over 3 years. It’s this kind of simple, operator friendly systems that make a huge world of difference.

Yuthika Apartments: Space between parking and the compound wall.

Working with many of these communities – we are also mindful that sometimes there may be zero space available on ground. But in such cases – we’re very happy to take the project straight up – on the terrace of course! Here the residents of Rose County liked the idea of a fabricated jali – and that worked very well.

Rose County, Pimple Saudagar – Jali composting on their terrace.

The heart of any community project is community participation – without that any kind of work really does not take off. Let’s look at two key examples. Mont Vert Tropez as a society had recently shifted to piped gas. They looked at their gas room with a different lens. Here, we helped them to transform this space – and convert that into a composting room. Simple transformation of a space that already existed – that is our bottom line when we want to urge communities to transform their spaces.

Mont Vert Tropez: Gas room converted into composting space

Like any social enterprise, we are the happiest, when we see communities valuing composting spaces. Kunal Icon, a 29 building society had been in discussions with us right from the stage of conceptualising composting in their backyard. When the turn came to identify spaces, we just relooked at their garbage chute rooms. Within no time, this space became the hub of wet waste management. We know how much the community values this space. One day, our supervisor sent us the photo of how the compost room looked and we were pleasantly surprised to see the transformation.

Kunal Icon: (left: Composting room at the start of the project; right: composting room transformed with visual art)

Composting is possible in the smallest of spaces – so long as the intention and the will power is there. For every resident who questions on whether composting is a smelly process – we let our work do the talking to prove otherwise. If you’re interested to know more – drop us an email on or call us on 8007 01 14 14

Why is composting so powerful?

Composting is art. It’s science, it’s a visual story that nature tells you about how things break down. Composting shows you death of many things, and just like that – like a phoenix rising from ashes – you see signs of life again.

Composting is a symbol of showing how to nurture living soil. A living soil of thousands of microbes – that fuel this planet’s ability to regenerate. Wet waste along with dry leaves – are the perfect companions – that create this living soil.

While this seems extremely romantic, can societies/organisations/individuals make this living soil on a day to day basis? Yes. We can. Composting on site cannot be simply looked at as a way to manage wet waste. When one composts their own kitchen waste, you realise it’s true potential.

Potential # 1 : YES IN MY BACKYARD! (YIMBY)

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Clean, green backyards means odour free composting. It means working in sync with the micro-climate using minimal energy. The best technology is nature – and we work with her, rather than against her. Many societies that we have plugged in with, know that composting with minimal energy and basic technology works in the long term.


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Getting people together, to segregate together in a uniform fashion, day after day. It’s the beginning of a mindful community. When people see clean environments – odor free composting right in their backyards – that’s when we break ceilings on how waste management looks. It’s no longer about something happening somewhere. It’s a community doing their bit – right where they are.


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Composting is addictive. If you’ve ever done composting, you’ll get this. You can’t stop. You can’t look back. You’ll want to do this again and again – it’s because we’re connected to soil. De-facto dry waste is cleaner and better segregated. No food contamination implies – everyone in the supply chain of managing dry waste does not encounter poor working conditions. Without a doubt, higher rates of recycling will become the norm. And the best part: Kids lead the way!

Potential # 4: JOY OF GARDENING

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When you see that first tomato growing out of your compost – it gives you joy of creating food is priceless. Thousands of our customers nourish their gardens with the compost from home composters/society level composting. To enable safe healthy food for ourselves is the gift that we can give ourselves. That too in this day and age of toxic food.

Does Composting need space? Yes it does. With our experience of working with 100+ housing societies in Pune, we have identified space that people didn’t know existed! And these 100+ communities have not sent one gram of wet waste out of their plots thanks to our daily service (including sundays) of composting on site.

Write to us on to know more.