The hobby of the present author is to buy a variety of vegetables and fruits from different bazaars of Imphal City. The author really feel pain by looking at the pathetic condition of vegetables and fruits vendors in different corners of Khwairamband bazaar. Because these “Imas” used to sell their items at the unhygienic road sides of Khwairamband bazaar just sitting behind dumped vegetables and fruits wastes. In this article, the author made an attempt how the Imphal Municipal Corporation could take up certain steps for the welfare of these downtrodden business community.
Organic Wastes of Khwairamband Bazar
It includes household wastes from the Khwairamband Bazar dwellers and fruit and vegetables market wastes. The wastes are posing serious problem of management by the Imphal Municipal Corporation in a environmentally acceptable manner. In this condition, an alternative approach based upon principles and practices of bioconversion are suggested as proven and effective method of solid waste management. The most apparent approach is microbial route for organic waste degradation into well humidified compost based on organic manure and vermicompost. The fruits and vegetable wastes generated in the Khwairamband Bazar forms 100% degradable wastes.
Composting of fruits/Vegetables Wastes
Irrespective of the quality of unsegregated municipal solid wastes or segregated degradable wastes like fruit/vegetable wastes, scientific treatment is possible through mechanical composting and vermicomposting.
The stress on such scientific treatment of degradable wastes like fruits/vegetables market wastes, food wastes from hotels/ restaurants etc. which has arisen due to – i) increased problem of municipal solid waste management including agrimarket wastes which has become a prime concern of Imphal Municipal Corporation. Unless regularly removed and treated such wastes will pose serious health hazards to the citizens ii) disposed and recycling of the wastes is essential to keep Khwairamband Bazar clean. Therapid growth of fruits and vegetables marketshave put unprecedented pressure on the Imphal Municipal Corporation.
Methodology for proper decomposition of wastes
The machineries used for separating the degraded organic wastes in the form of organic manure is itself a technology for scientific treatment. The methodology adopted for getting the organic wastes decomposed and degraded over a specific period of time is equally important step in scientific treatment of organic wastes. It includes the following 4 steps viz., (i) mass heaping of municipal solid wastes, (ii) window formation of municipal solid wastes (iii) turning of a municipal solid wastes and (iv) screening of degraded organic matters. The resultant manure got from this process of composting should crumb when pressed and becomes powder when disturbed. It should give out earthy aroma and should be black in colour, fine powder in nature.
Separation of organic manure from non-degradable inert
It would be a rotary system, vibratory or whatsoever facility that fits into the system can be a adopted. But, the machineries should be indigenous, cost effective, low power consuming, low operation and maintenance costs, no technical snag and any semi skilled operator should be able to operate the system.
Vermicomposting is a simple, low cost, low energy biotechnology of multiplying earthworm by providing them the optimum conditions for there rapid multification by feeding them with biodegradable materials available in every household, Agri/fruits/vegetables markets in any locality. It consist of 4 (four) steps viz., releasing earthworms, (ii) vermipits filled with partially degraded municipal solid wastes, (iii) sheds for vermipits and (iv) production of vermicompost. So, it is a simple technique of using earthworm species like Eiseniafetida, Eudriluseugeniae, etc. to convert biodegradable urban wastes into vermicompse.
Vermicompost is complex organic manure and it is not desirable to compare its status as a mere supplier of NPK nutrients. Vermicomposting could be practiced in Khwairamband Bazar at suitable places where the generation of less than 50 tons of organic wastes per day because it is labour intensive.
The Karnataka Compost Development Corporation (KCDC), Government of Karnataka undertaking has been functioning continuously for the last four decades. This Corporation is involved in large scale production of both mechanical compost and vermicompost. Both the options are viable and the corporation is also making margin profits.
The major problem that a composting industry facing today is marketing. When the question of selling of organic manure arises, the process of the same becomes an important factor as farmers are comparing the price of the farm yard manure available in their backyards with that of scientifically processed organic manure.
Conclusion and recommendations
The Imphal Municipal Corporation need to start such an endeavour for managing organic wastes for Khwairamband bazar as done by the Karnataka. Compost Development Cooperation. Further, marketing of organic manure and Vermicompost in a sustainable manure is to be taken up as a Challenge. Such technology should be in a position to prevent environment pollution like contamination of water, air, control of flies, etc.
(The writer is Former Professor (Higher Academic Grade)/Life Sciences, Manipur University and Former Dean, School Life Sciences, Manipur University and he can be contacted through firstname.lastname@example.org)