by Jaideep Saptarshi - Executive Director - Vermigold Ecotech Pvt. Ltd.
COVID-19 pandemic has plunged the entire world into a state of disarray. It has further exposed how the
linear economy cripples economic resilience, exacerbates social inequality and depletes natural
As with sustainability and climate change- related challenges, the virus has no respect for political,
geographical, or religious boundaries. Today, we are more aware than ever of the inter dependencies
binding our natural, social and economic systems.Technologically advanced, sustainable and resilient
infrastructure can pave the way for an inclusive post-COVID economic recovery. The need of the hour is
flatten the unsustainability curve by adopting a circular economy model.
A circular economy follows the 3R approach: reduce, reuse and recycle, whereas a linear economy will
damage the environment further.
COMPOSTING: NATURE'S CIRCULAR ECONOMY
Food waste is reduced and reused, its nutrients are recycled into fertiliser. By returning these
back to the soil, rather than letting organic waste rot away in landfills we can rejuvenate the soil.
Compost enriches soil, helps retain moisture and suppresses plant diseases and pests. It reduces the
for chemical fertilizers, and encourages the production of beneficial bacteria and fungi that break down
organic matter to create rich nutrient-filled materials. Composting reduces methane emissions from
landfills and lowers carbon footprint.
PROBLEM OF WASTE
According to the estimates of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Mumbai generates about 7,500
tonnes per day of solid waste, making it one of the top waste generating metropolitan cities of the
country. The dumping sites of Mumbai, where waste is dumped unscientifically, are ticking time bombs and
hence waste segregation at source combined with on-site waste management of compostable organics will
in diverting the waste from landfills significantly. In the post COVID world, strict implementation of 3
way source segregation by separating the biodegradable waste, non- biodegradable waste and bio-medical
waste as mandated by SWM 2016 rules is crucial for the safety of the waste management staff.
Around 70% of the generated waste is biodegradable and is compostable. On-site waste management is an
important component to build sustainable and resilient infrastructure in the circular economy. It can be
done either with bacteria culture or utilizing composting worms also known as vermicomposting.
THE SOLUTION - SEGREGATION & COMPOSTING
One significant step that organisations can take to achieve zero waste to landfill goals is by engaging
trusted partner to help implement a composting program that improves the environment and creates value.
The organic waste composters should deliver real benefits to the end user and the environment. Their
operations should not have any foul odour, have low power consumption, have low operational cost,
maintenance requirements, have zero toxic discharge and the compost should have high nutrient value
for gardening requirements.
The unintended benefit of the COVID-19 lockdown in India has been the ‘detox’ of our living
Water bodies contaminated due to dumping of garbage and sewage have got a new breath of life due to this
pause and reset of our economic activities. The real challenge is whether we will be able to maintain
improved environmental climate in the post lockdown days.
This pandemic should not be viewed as a hurdle to corporate sustainability efforts. On the contrary,
moment presents an opportunity to innovate and demonstrate the power of circular practices and products
a sustainable solution to the resource constraints.