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Indian Condo Recycles Organic Waste, Grows 300kg Grapes

Most municipalities now have recycling programs for single residential and low density housing. With curb or alley pick-up, multi-bin pickup works well, is reasonably economical, and has proven very successful in reducing the volume required to dump.

Condominiums have proven significantly more difficult to bring on line. Many condominium were built 10 or more years ago – and don’t include appropriate space or facilities to recycle. Personally, my first condo we bought was a 1970s built building and while we tried implementing a recycling program during my time on the board, we cancelled it shortly thereafter. There wasn’t an appropriate space that could collect the recyclables and allow access to a company to remove the materials.

Even new builds may not have appropriate space – there is little profit for builders to add additional space just for recycling.

For condominiums that do successfully recycle, they tend to be limited to hard-materials (cans, glass, papers). There is little opportunity for kitchen or biodegradable waste.

In the gated community of  Beverley Park-1, Gurgaon, India there has been a very successful pilot project with biodegradable. In part driven by illegal dumping in their area, they looked at a solution that would empower them to help address the dumping problem locally.

The condominium has been using organic waste converters to produce manure for their orchards, mini plantations and park. The success of the program this year has allowed them to harvest over 300kg of grapes, and a variety of other fruits including oranges, lemons, and peaches. They now have been able to fertilize 4,000 sqm or green space without artificial fertilizer.

Most North America condominiums aren’t as lucky to have available or owned green space to use processed organic waste on. For those that have the available space, municipal and federal laws can prove a significant deterrent as well to organic recycling.  Successful projects, like this one in the McKee Condominiums, Bellevue, Washington, are few and far between.

In all, there are significant barriers for existing condominium in the face or recycling – traditional or organic. A proactive municipality could change that going forward. Making recycling facilities a requirement of any new condominium or HOA development, along with new legislation that promotes and encourages recycling would go far in bringing around a green city.