Sep 29, 2016

5 ways to manage wet waste

Earlier, I had written a post on managing dry waste. I got a lot of positive feedback and encouragement (thank you all!) for that post. Continuing on similar lines, let me talk about five ways by which I manage wet waste at home. 

Wet waste refers to waste generated from cooking, take-away food, left-overs etc. Segregating dry waste and wet waste is a mandatory rule in Bangalore. In-house composting of wet waste in apartment complexes is also being enforced in order to control the amount of waste that gets into landfills.

(1) Home composting:

Since 2010, my husband and I have been diligently using Daily Dump's Khamba to compost wet waste, mainly the fruits and vegetable peels. It has become a habit for us to dump such waste directly into the compost bin 2-3 times a day. The Khamba sits in a corner of our balcony and doesn't emit any smell. It doesn't attract any rats either. Maggots do come into the bin but they only fasten the composting process. Our 5 year old daughter gets excited to see the maggots whenever my husband mixes the bin. He typically takes the filled bin once a week, adds dry leaves fallen on the floor from our little garden and mixes them together with a pair of garden tongs. We get good quality compost that resembles mud once every 3-4 months. Home compost rightly deserves the name "black gold". We sprinkle this compost onto our plants. Through this home-based composting, there are hardly any fruits and veggie peels that get added to our wet waste bin. 

(2) Plan your meals, Be aware of your pantry stock:
I plan my meals in advance, according to the veggies I have brought from store. I had earlier written a blogpost about how to put veggies to good use without letting them rot in your fridge. I follow this simple practice that has helped me tremendously in controlling the veggies that go unused. Do check it out.

(3) Cook food according to your exact needs (not more):
The only other wet waste that goes out of our home in little quantity is cooked food. With more than 10 years of cooking experience, I know exactly how much to cook for my family. I always prefer to cook the exact required quantity (sometimes even less) rather than cook more and store left-overs (or throw away the excess food). We prefer to eat fresh home-made food and I cook 2-3 meals a day. But there is hardly any food that gets wasted.

(4) Educate children and bring them onboard:
I'm strict with my daughter about food wastage. I would rather serve little on her plate and let her finish it fully than add more food to her plate that she would find it hard to finish. I know her food preferences and I don't experiment with her school lunch box. Tried and tested food items feature repeatedly and the dabba comes home empty most of the time. 

(5) Reduce take-aways / Order the right quantity:
Coming to take-away or store-bought food, we don't order food from restaurants or from the food delivery startups. Even when I'm tired or not well, we would rather eat a simple curd rice or dosa with chutney podi at home. We go to restaurants once a week but don't carry home any left-overs. This may not work out for everyone but my only suggestion is to order the required quantity and avoid food getting wasted.

We follow these principles 90% of the time but there is still 10% to be improved. Hopefully one day, we'll hit the 100% mark and I don't keep my wet-waste bin outside my apartment for collection ever.

Do share if there are other ideas of managing wet waste at home. 

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