BENGALURU: Centuries-old Sampangi Rama Temple, on Cunningham Road, is leading the way in waste management by hosting a composting bin in its compound. Into this will go biodegradable dry waste such as leaves shed by many trees in the temple compound, flowers and used leaf donnes (in which prasadam is served).
Rajkumar Dugar, a resident of Vasanth Nagar and head of the residents’ association, donated the bin in memory of his father and had his mother inaugurate it for her birthday. “I had been to a composting workshop where NS Ramakanth told me about the bin and how it works,” says Rajkumar. Ramakanth, a retired engineer, is a waste management expert who runs campaigns to promote responsible disposal.

Reasonable Cost
“I was inspired by it and donated the bin only in the hope that is inspires someone else to make well thought-out contributions,” says Rajkumar. Soon after the installation a resident from another locality also expressed interest in making similar donations to other temples.  “It does not cost very much,” says Rajkumar, “this one at the temple is huge (5.5ft in diametre and 5 ft in height) therefore it came to 15,000. Big ones can cost up to Rs 20,000 including miscellaneous costs but smaller ones can be made for between `7,000 to `8,000.”

There is little to be done at the temple itself. “The temple management or committee has staff that does the cleaning of the premises, they have been trained to just leave the waste into the bin,” says Rajkumar. “Every alternate day they have to sprinkle water and once in a month, they have to top it with cow-dung slurry.” There is a cow shed with about 12 cows in the neighbourhood, so sourcing the slurry should not be a worry. “The staff will also ensure that no plastic or other waste is put into this,” says Rajkumar, who will also monitor it off and on. “Incase, we find plastic, then we will ask the staff to take it out… this will also ensure that the staff do not allow anyone to dump such waste into it.”
The bin can hold waste for 4 to 5 months.