170 days of Nochi Nagar – The Peter effect and the very first batch of Nochi Compost

25th NOV 2016
What began as any normal day for the nochi makkal (people),when the sun shined upon the newly planted saplings, when people were ready to deal with their daily responsibilities and among all the of the various sounds of nochi comes the sound of the “whistle” a.k.a the KUPPAI whistle, along with the whistle comes a new voice calling out kuppae kuppae kuppae and knocking on each of the doors !!! Much to the surprise of people the instant “EVAN DA AVAN “reaction turned to “YAARU DA INDHA VELLAIKARAN?? “.
This is termed as the peter effect: When a white man does unusual things he instantly grabs the attention of our fellow makkal(similar to the belief of vellaikaran poi solla mattan/ A white man never lies!!).This effect was a positive one, it sent the signal that the initiative of source segregation of the wastes at one’s home is as important as any activity related to improving one’s standard of living. People proudly came out with their respective colour coded bins to deposit the wastes in the respective collection bins. I think there is no better way to reinforce to Nochi people the importance of their segregation effort.
26TH NOV 2016
What began as a simple idea under the roof of E-pagemaker Thiruvanmiyur at Chennai Coastal Cleanup 7 weekly meetings, has now seen completion of the first full cycle and reached a key milestone. The first batch of compost made out of the green waste collected from the nochi A block was finally harvested by the relentless effort of the team members who regularly saw to it that the compost was maintained reasonably despite shortage of labour. The fruit of the labour was seen in the form of sweet earthy smelling compost!!
  • What initially started as a single block(A) collection of the segregated waste(100kg – wet(60),reject(20 ),dry(20)), has now been expanded to blocks further(B,C).
  • The green waste collected is being composted in the mylapore burial ground which is 0.5km away from the housing unit using the pits with the help of corporation officials.
  • The employment opportunity is being created for Women who are in need of a steady income. We hope to have a stable set of the CTC solid waste management team in the coming days.
  • Communication is being maintained with the corporation to set up a permanent composting unit within the locality itself to make it an easily sustainable and self supported zerowaste model.
A Zero waste Nochi nagar… is not as far as it seems to be.
— Author is “Proud Indian Prabha” (published with minor edits)
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