SwachaGraha Compost Connect
Frequently Asked Questions
How was SGCC conceived?
SGCC is a campaign run by SWMRT (www.swmrt.com). Some apartments who had excess compost piling up on their premises did not know how to dispose of the compost after all the hard work and money spent on the processes. We at SWMRT ideated this campaign to bring the producers and buyers from all over Bangalore together in a WhatsApp group so that both parties get benefited by this initiative.
Is this campaign run by volunteers?
Yes. It’s voluntary work with no commercial interest. The campaigners do not make any money from the sales, nor do they charge service fee to producers or buyers.
Who all can buy compost through SGCC?
We currently have farmers from in and around Bangalore, terrace gardeners, and resellers who further enrich the compost and sell at higher prices.
How do you pick the producers? Do you do due diligence?
We pick the producers based on the composting method they follow. It has to be a sustainable method where machines are not involved in heating up the composting pile. Only lab-produced microbes are added to the raw material to help it break down faster.
What is the price of the compost?
Rs. 1.50 / kg, until further notice.
Is the compost available for free?
There are 2-3 communities who don’t mind giving their compost away for free. But otherwise, the rest of them sell at Rs. 1.50 / kg.
What is the minimum quantity one can buy?
100 kg or more.
Do you arrange home deliveries?
No home deliveries.
Do the buyers have to take their own bags, vehicle and labour?
Yes. You can always request the producers to help you with labourers and pay them accordingly.
Is the waste segregated before composting?
Yes. But a few pieces of plastic may be found in the compost. Human errors.
How is the compost made?
It is made using all the kitchen waste, and sometimes garden waste, from households/gardens in an apartment or a gated community. This waste is rich in nitrogen. To this, suitable quantities of carbon-rich cocopeat or dry leaves, or both, are added.
How long does it take to compost?
To speed up the composting process, accelerators have to be added. These are beneficial microbes which break down the waste in about 3-4 weeks. Large semi-composted pieces are taken out and then the rest is put up for sale.
Are there any chemicals added during the composting process?
None. Only beneficial microbes.
Is the compost nutritious?
Yes. Since a proper carbon-nitrogen ratio is maintained and the compost is processed in a scientific manner without using chemicals or machines (other than shredders/food choppers), the compost is rich in nutrition with a high microbial load.
Is the compost tested before it is put up for sale?
No. Different piles in the same batch can throw up different results and it is impossible for the producers to get all of them tested each time as it costs a sum. When the carbon-nitrogen ratio is properly maintained and the process is run well, the compost that comes out is usually of good quality. In short, the input decides the output.
Is the compost sieved?
No. But the large uncomposted clumps are taken out.
Is the compost dry or wet?
The compost is ideally just moist, not too wet or soggy.
Is the compost in a ready-to-use form?
No. The producers do not have the time or space to fully process the waste. They take care of only the first phase of active composting. Curing is buyers’ responsibility. We advise the buyers not to use the compost immediately after they buy.
What is curing? Why is it necessary?
There are two stages in composting: active phase and curing phase. During the active phase, the breakdown of the organic material happens to the extent that the original colour, texture, size, etc., of the raw material transforms into compost which is black/deep brown in colour and is aromatic. But the microbes are still active and the compost is warm to touch. It needs to be processed further until all the organic matter is broken down so that the plants are able to absorb the nutrients. If the compost is used before curing, then it may harm the plants and affect germination.
Do you allow the compost from 24-hour automatic composters to be put up for sale in your network?
NO. These machines are BANNED. That’s why we ask the producers to send the pictures of the process they have in place. We gather all the details first and then add them to the WhatsApp group. The same pictures are shared with all the members in the group.
Is the quality of compost uniform in all the apartments?
Although they all follow sustainable/safe composting methods, the quality may or may not be uniform depending on whether the waste was shredded, how long it was processed, etc. That’s why we recommend that the buyers visit the site before placing an order.
How do sales happen?
On every Saturday, we share a list and a Google Map of the communities who have compost in stock. The buyers pick the one that is close to their home or farm and contact the producer/s directly.
Can buyers from beyond Bangalore buy compost through SGCC?
Yes. We have several farmers who come to the city to deliver fruits, vegetables and other farm produce, and load up the compost on their way back.
Can the farmers sell their produce to communities from where they buy the compost?
Certainly! We encourage such an arrangement between the two parties so that the farmers can load up the compost in the same vehicle in which they bring their produce to the city.
What is the feedback you have received so far?
We have received excellent feedback from our buyers who have used the compost in their farms and terrace gardens. We share the feedback with all our group members to encourage them to take to organic farming / gardening.
Can producers and buyers introduce new members to the group?
Can the buyers have a private agreement with producers directly without SGCC intervention?
We do not encourage such private pacts as it defeats the purpose of the initiative. All sales must happen through SGCC only and the producers have to contact the campaigners if they have excess compost and not the buyers. We want all the buyers to get a chance to buy the compost.
Are there any rules to be followed by the members of the group?
First of all, they have to visit the website and read all the content and familiarise themselves with the terms and conditions, FAQs, and dos and don’ts. We discourage the members from sharing forwards which are not relevant to the group.