Residents of a Thane housing society have come up with innovative methods to realise their aims of a terrace full of vegetables, free electricity and minimal waste. At a summit on waste management, organised over the weekend by Thane residents to spread awareness about newly-enforced waste segregation rules, the success stories of a number of residents who put waste material to good use were showcased.
The Vijay Garden society on Ghodbunder Road prides itself on its terrace vegetable garden. “During the deluge last year, a wall along our compound broke and water flooded in. Many of our residents’ cars got flooded too. Once the water receded, we scooped up the mud and transferred it to around 200 empty paint drums that had been left behind from a recent repainting of walls,” said Nelson D’Mello, a resident of the society.
People then planted vegetable seeds in the drums. “We started by taking care of the vegetables as a few individuals. Then, everyone came together. We are now planning to buy a compost machine and start making our own manure,” D’Mello added.
The society has already started putting up solar panels, and plans to link up the power they generate to the grid. “The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) has promised to give us an equal rebate on our monthly electricity bills. Soon, we won’t be paying for our electricity at all,” he said.
According to the Thane Citizen’s Foundation (TCF), the organisers of the summit, the aim is to achieve self-sustainability in the manner in which Vijay Garden society has begun. “The waste generated is to be segregated, and then reused, before being thrown away. This event was for societies and organisations, but we are soon starting camps for schools, where principals, teachers and children can learn the simple steps to sustainability,” said Kasber Augustine, convenor of TCF.
“If Thane aims to be a smart city, we need to generate and manage waste smartly,” he added.