Francis Xavier, a member of Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, has developed a waste management system that has become highly successful in Thrissur.
The system is called Thumburmuzhy Model Aerobic Composting Technique (TMACT). And the model, according to its developer, is cost-effective and eco-friendly, and ideal to deal with the garbage in Kerala.
“The biodegradable waste here contains high moisture, so the best option would be composting or converting it into biogas. The most favoured method here now is vermicomposting. But TMACT is more eco-friendly and cost effective. Vermicomposting produces carbon dioxide and methane, and earthworms have to be taken care of. TMACT can be set up for only Rs 8,500 and there is zero production of methane or odour,” said Francis Xavier.
He said TMACT’s efficiency in segregating livestock waste gave it an edge over the existing composting processes. “A rectangle structure should be built using bricks on a cement floor leaving gaps in between. While its width should be restricted to four feet, height can vary. A roof is required to prevent the structure from getting wet. Once the structure is ready, wet cow dung up to 6 inches in height should be laid on the floor. Over this any kind of biodegradable waste, including livestock waste, can be spread. But here too the height should be limited to six inches. This should again be topped with wet cow dung. This process can be continued till the structure gets completely filled,” Francis said.
The energy produced due to bacterial growth creates a 75 degree centigrade environment inside the plant, which prevents flies from laying eggs. Since moisture level is only 60%, the composting process will not create any odour, he said.
“A filled-up plant takes about 90 days to finish composting and it is ideal for large communities like flat dwellers. Smaller units can be used by households and local government bodies. Installing small units on roadsides at equal distances can help contain the growing garbage menace,” said Francis Xavier.
The Thumburmuzhy model was being used at Orange County in Coorg as part of their Responsible Tourism and Zero Waste Programme, and by residents of many flats in Thrissur district, he added.