In a cost-saving innovation, the Greater Chennai Corporation is procuring unused and old ‘sintex’ tanks from Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (Metrowater) to use them as mulching pits in civic body-maintained parks.
“Earlier we would dig pits in parks and construct concrete structures inside them. But, the construction cost for such pits would cost at least Rs 50,000. So, we have decided to use old water tanks from Metrowater as mulching pits,” a Greater Chennai Corporation official said.
The official explained that the bottom portion of the tanks would be removed and the tanks, which now have openings on both ends, would be directly inserted into the pits. The side of the tanks would act as a concrete wall built to prevent attrition. Garden wastes collected in the parks would be fed into the pits to produce organic manure.
A source in the civic body said that they are buying unused tanks at less than Rs 3,000 each. A small portion of the tank would be kept outside the pits to prevent incidents of visitors falling into the pits. In some parks, bamboo fencings have been provided around the pits.
Apart from 129 parks, the Corporation has plans to extend the innovation to remaining parks. “We have been selling organic manure to Horticulture Department and till now, we have sold 15 tonnes of manure to them. Apart from this, we also sell organic manure to the public,” the official added.
The civic body believes composting would decrease the amount of garbage being sent to the landfills. Meanwhile, another official said that domestic wet waste from households around the parks would be collected and composted in such pits in the future.
When asked whether the civic body would increase the amount of organic manure being sold to the public, an official said, “we are discussing with some NGOs who have expertise in the subject to increase the production of organic manure.”