Pramila Gupta, Ex. Professor, AAI, Allahabad
Yash Krishi, Taknique Evam Vigyan Kendra, Allahabad
What is waste?
Waste is unwanted or undesirable material leftover or thrown after the completion of an Agriculture process. In other words, it can also be stated that any substance or matter which the holder discards or intends to discard is waste or which is generally not used again. A typical waste dump on the streets and /on the riverside is shown below.
This waste has to be sorted out for bio-degradable and Non-Bio-degradable waste. Biodegradable waste can be used for converting to manure for Agriculture.
Figure 1 – A typical Waste thrown on Roadside or the banks of the river
A. Use of Bio-degradable waste in making soil Improvers or Manure:
In Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) and near river Ganga or around, there are many elements like vegetable peelings, waste eatables, offered flowers, etc which are biodegradable. Other similar wastes are food waste, agriculture waste, animal dug, etc. In the city or on the banks of the Holy River many temples are also located. In these temples, tons of flowers are offered daily. These are also biodegradable and have to be disposed of.
Thus, a large volume of organic material is available from MSW or animal shelters, etc. This resource can be utilized by properly composting it into a value-added end product called Soil Improvers which is of superior quality manure to feed our hungry agriculture farms. These have many nutrient / organic matters for hungry soils. The bio-degradable waste can be converted to compost by NADEP technology or Vermi Method. In short, these methods are given here:
Adopting “NADEP technology” converts the bio-degradable waste to organic manure. In this method, a rectangular box-type brick structure of about 3m length x 1.6m width x 1m height is constructed on leveled ground. The brickwork is done using plain cement sand or lime mortar. The top layers are done with a little richer mix so as to give strength to structure. It may be provided with perforations in the walls all around by leaving half brick holes while doing the brickwork. The floor can be lined with plain bricks or simple earth
Like this 4-5 layers are poured and finally, the filled tank is covered and sealed with a uniform paste of moist mud. The box top is kept moist by spraying water from time to time for about 2 – 3 months in the summertime.
Approximately 5-6 tons of good manure is ready per tank in about 3 months, containing nitrogen-0.5 %’ phosphorus-0.5-0.6 %, potash- 1.2-1.4% plus all the other nutrients required for agricultural crops which is good. Besides this, NADEP compost being rich in humus also improves the physical structure of farm soils.
Vermicomposting uses earthworms to turn biodegradable or organic wastes into very high-quality compost. This is one of the best ways of composting many types of wastes including flowers, kitchen and animal waste, etc.
iii). Kitchen Waste Manuring:
Small plastic storage containers inconvenient or a variety of sizes as shown in figure 3 can also be used for Vermicomposting. These containers can easily be transported to suitable locations. These can be made or cast out of waste plastic begs converted to granular as discussed earlier.
B. Generating Energy from Waste:
For this process, generally Biodegradable waste or Waste Plastics is used. The most common method of converting waste to energy generation is ‘Incineration‘. In simple terms, it stands for a type of waste treatment process, where the Biodegradable form of waste is collected and burnt at high temperatures. Waste treatments that are conducted involving high temperatures are called Thermal treatment. The heat generated from this thermal temperature is then used to create energy. Several countries in the world, especially in Europe are experimenting with Incineration as an alternate means of energy production.