#GoodNews| A Panchayat Near Chennai Transforms Its Compost Yard Into A Beautiful Garden

How they went from a sharp stench to the sweet smell of flowers

V. Kumara Swamy Published Sep 23, 2019 19:32:18 IST
#GoodNews| A Panchayat Near Chennai Transforms Its Compost Yard Into A Beautiful Garden A staff member of Naravarikuppam Town Panchayat tending the plants (Photo courtesy Naravarikuppam Panchayat)

Where there's a will there's a way. Naravarikuppam Town Panchayat, around 20 kilometres west of Chennai proved just that by converting a waste composting yard into an ‘agroforest.’ Waste items like abandoned and broken pickle-jars, tyres, toilet seats, washbasins, and such other are used for growing flower plants. The local officials have also been able to get rid of the stench, thanks to the planting of the Indian tulip tree (Portia tree) that can absorb bad odour around the place. The panchayat even grows vegetables and fruits in the nearly one-acre plot of land. “It used to look like a wasteland and there was a strong stench. But we decided to do something about it,” says G. Sathish, the executive officer of the panchayat.

It took the panchayat about three years to turn around the compost yard into an ‘agroforest’ as they like to call it. “We have plants growing even in abandoned shoes and plastic water bottles,” Sathish says.

According to Sathish, the compost yard used to be littered with biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste which had workers separating them and then converting the biodegradable waste into compost using various techniques like 'vermi composting’, a method to convert waste into compost by using earthworms. The residual waste that cannot be recycled is collected for processing later by the district authorities from the yard.

“Now people can see that everything is done in the designated spots while the other areas have been cleared and beautified,” Satish says.

Not just flowering plants, the staff of the panchayat also grows vegetables such as tomatoes, different varieties of gourds and onions. The manure obviously is generated within the yard. Thanks to a thick cover of greenery, it has started attracting birds. The yard even has a small duck pond.

The officials hope to turn the yard into a model yard for others emulate in Tamil Nadu and beyond. May it give rise to a thousand such gardens.

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