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IIT Bombay inaugurates first vermi-culture facility

Saturday, September 04, 2010
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Mumbai: Taking another step towards being a green campus, IIT Bombay inaugurated its first Vermi-culture Facility on August 30, 2010 inside its Powai campus. The initiative is spearheaded by Green Campus Initiative, Public Health Office and monitored closely by Mrs. Aparna Inamdar, who has worked extensively in the field of sagacious garbage disposal. The aim of the GCI is to take necessary initiatives and device futuristic models to develop methods for creating an environmentally sustainable campus for future generations. Briefly, the facility will cater to 24 families wherein all wet garbage can be recycled and turned into usable manure. The institute can then choose to use it within its boundaries or sell it. 

The facility will use deep burrowing indigenous worms making for a healthy environment. An advantage of using burrowing worms as opposed to surface worms is that many houses can undertake such garbage disposal since the worms remain hidden under the soil. Also, indigenous species of worms require low maintenance and no additives as opposed to imported worms. Since the indigenous earthworms create a porous soil culture (which allows aerobic decomposition) no foul smell is produced during the decomposition process and neither is the waste required to be shredded. Further, an enclosure has been built, designed by Prof. B. K. Chakravarthy of IDC, to ensure that animals and birds do not dissipate the garbage. It has been designed taking into account the convenience of the staff operating the facility, drainage and built using recyclable material. The facility will save fuel required to transport wet garbage, make manure available as a by-product and encourage people to segregate garbage into wet and dry.
 
Mrs. Aparna Inamdar, who has been developing the Vermi-culture technology since 1993 and has  closely monitored the entire project, emphasized on the advantages of this technology over the traditional Vermi-composting which emanates foul smell and needs imported worms. She also added that, "Vermi-culture can be carried out in almost any sized vermibed, even an earthen pot. This versatility of the bed can be a boon to apply the technology across India at the grass root levels." 

With the increasing population in the campus, IIT Bombay now like never before needs to look for more integrated strategies for management of water, energy and material resources along with wastewater and solid waste. The Vermi-culture Facility is thus a significant step in making IIT deal with its ever increasing rate of garbage generation as more and more people populate the 550 odd acres of this institute

About Green Campus Initiative (GCI)

The GCI committee looks into environmental problems faced by the campus, and presents its recommendations in the form of a report. Appointed by the Director in February this year, it has met over issues concerning ecologically responsible garbage disposal, recycling, conservation of water, electricity and maintaining IIT Bombay's green cover.

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