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Kora3B Compost turns 4!

Four year and 1000 tonnes leaf litter processing later !

It was in January 2013 that “Kora3B compost” was born. “Kora3B compost” is a community initiative right at the heart of 3rd block Koramangala, Bengaluru to take care of all the leaf litter from the locality and to convert it to high quality organic compost. The aim is prevent high quality compostable leaf matter from being made a pollutant thanks to the indiscriminate burning of litter and garbage on the streets. During this process, useful high quality compost is being generated.

The Koramangala 3rd block composting facility completes four years of operation this month. In these 48 months, the facility has converted nearly 1000 tons of our street leaf litter to excellent quality compost.

What started modestly has grown in strength over these four years. While we processed about 100 tonnes in 2013, we will reach 400 tonnes in 2016. The journey so far has been an interesting learning experience as we continuously worked to improve our processing facility. To ensure the high quality of the compost, extra care is taken to remove all plastic and debries from the leaf litter using a rotary sieve. Cowdung slurry is added repeatedly during the composting period of 12-14 weeks. This slurry both enriches the quality of the compost and speeds the decomposition process. To further enhance value, Honge (Pongemia) flowers along with Neem leaves are added. The Honge flowers which are small, Whitish Pink are sweet smelling and a rich source of Nitrogen. To validate what we were confident of, we tested our compost and it has been approved for its quality at the agricultural university in Hebbal as well as the horticulture dept's labs.

“Kora3B compost” as our produce is now popularly known, has become the credible high quality brand among Bengaluru’s gardening community. Finally, the proof of the pudding is in the eating! In our case, the outstanding quality of our compost is evident by the beautiful flowers in our own 3rd block (12th main) and J block parks which uses our compost extensively. Our compost has been very popular both with large commercial establishments as well as with individual residents. Indo American hybrid seeds, one of the larger nurseries in the city have been buying the Kora3b compost throughout these four years. All revenue from sale of our compost is used to pay for the operational cost of the facility so as not to burden our Residents Welfare Association in any way.

As we interact with the agricultural/gardening community, we understand that good compost is popularly known as 'black gold' and with good reason. Quality compost is not easily available in the city. This is sad and ironic given the amount of leaf litter that the city generates. In most parts of the city, this leaf litter is mixed with the regular waste and carried long distances outside the city, or is burnt wherever possible. In any case, what can be an asset is either adding to Bengaluru’s high levels of pollution or is a financial liability to our cities already overburdened exchequer. What this composting facility has achieved is to transform what was a pollution problem for the city into a much needed asset for the community.

However to sustain this operation over time, we need to market the compost that is generated. This helps us financially as well as clear the space to absorb new leaf litter. The new leaf shedding season has just started and we need to urgently clear our current inventory of compost. The impact of the demonetisation resulted in fewer walk-in customers during the last six weeks. We request our customers to help clear our inventory. Our facility is located on 12th main, 3rd block Koramangala, next to the 3rd block post office. To buy Kora 3B ‘Black Gold’, please visit our facility, we are open 8AM to 9PM, all days of the week. We have two varieties for sales, the coarse compost is available at Rs 4/kg and the fine variety at Rs 8/Kg. We can provide discounts for sales greater than 1 tonne. You can contact our staff member Mr Jayachandra Reddy at: 07022358470

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