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The burning of mixed waste, high power consumption, emission of toxic smoke and dumping of the compost into the soil is hazardous to the environment.

Many apartment complexes, hotels, malls and other commercial establishments in Bengaluru have been using the so-called ‘24-hour composting units’ to treat the large amounts of solid waste that they generate. While the vendors of these automatic composting machines claim that they are eco-friendly, citizens’ group Solid Waste Management Round Table (SWMRT) disagrees.

“The vendors say the machines are organic waste converters. But in reality, they are just incinerators. Instead of producing compost, the machines generate burnt carbon with high electrical conductivity. And this, when added to soil, is harmful for the plants,” said Savita Hiremath, a member of SWMRT. She also claimed that these machines are being sold in the market without permits from the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palika (BBMP) and the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB).

The city’s garbage problem being what it is, these composting machines have gained popularity. Some of the leading brands of such machines are Reddonatura, Aruna Green and Ecoman (Foodie). However, many residents claim that the machines, which cost between Rs 8 and 10 lakh, consume a high volume of electricity and emit hazardous smoke.

Whether your home has a backyard or a kitchen window, you can have your own garden. A good gardening space receives at least six hours of sunlight per day and has a conveniently located water source. If you don’t have a large outdoor space, consider container gardening or gardening in Pots or even flat beds on your porch or balcony.

“We purchased the unit two years ago and things were fine initially. But gradually we realised that the electricity bill was going up to Rs 30,000 per month. Also, the vendor who agreed to collect the generated end product has stopped doing so for the last eight months. We have been trying to contact them but they are avoiding our calls,” said S Sudhakar, a resident at the Salarpuria Symphony apartment complex. Once the smoke from the machine at Salarpuria Symphony rose to such an extent that it had to be directed towards an empty site, residents said. “The vendors are hoodwinking the public by falsely promising quick compost that is hassle-free and odourless,” said Savita.

“The vendors are hoodwinking the public by falsely promising quick compost that is hassle-free and odourless,” said Savita.

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