Poonam Bir Kasturi – Recycling waste to create sustainable alternatives

“There are no problems, only solutions” – a famous quote by John Lenon defines the approach adopted by many entrepreneurs.

Poonam Bir Kasturi, a National Institute of Design graduate, is one such entrepreneur who sees opportunities in problems. Her initiative, Daily Dump, addresses the basic problem of household waste management, by making compost from recycled organic waste, a way of life.

A Holistic Solution to Encourage Waste Management
Poonam started Daily Dump in 2006 in Bangalore. She was aware that her solution had to be holistic and had to change people’s perception of waste.

After much research and experimentation, Poonam decided to use terracotta products for composting. She explains, “Composting is an exothermic reaction that decomposes organic waste to produce nutrient rich compost. The process releases water and creates heat that must be absorbed to prevent any foul smell.” Terracotta, as a material for home composting solutions, perfectly fit her requirements because of its strong association with Indian culture, aesthetic beauty and use in ornamental decoration pieces, and physical properties to absorb water and heat.

Poonam adds, “People believe garbage produces a bad odour, however, an appropriate Carbon:Nitrogen ratio (2 parts of carbon for every part of garbage) and enough air (to provide required oxygen) eliminates any such situations. Dry leaves, coconut husk or saw dust are commonly available sources of carbon.”

Daily Dump – Business of Recycling Organic Waste
Poonam designed her first set of terracotta composters, in the form of flower pots that are already being used by households and occupy little space. She invited her friends and family to be the first people to buy these products and adopt the habit of recycling their organic waste, thereby reducing their contribution to garbage dumps.

Daily Dump makes revenue from the sale of such products and services offered. These include composting solutions (khambas, gamlas, etc.), accessories, awareness books and reading material, service plans to assist people with their composting practices, demos, workshops etc. The company also buys back the compost produced in large volumes in communities and further sells it in the market. The profits are used to support the ongoing research efforts to evolve waste management processes and manage office expenses. This dynamic start-up continues to seek team members to fuel its growth, and increased evangelizing of waste management.

Successful and Growing
The word has spread among people who now take great pride in managing their household waste. Poonam proudly says, “The people who are successful at composting feel like heroes as they can visibly see how much less they throw out.”

Daily Dump garnered government support at the National School Sanitation Initiative, launched by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in 2010. The composting process devised by Poonam has also been included in the CBSE text books to educate children on the role they may play for a greener tomorrow. Poonam is also among the five individuals recently featured by HUL’s Do Gooders Initiative that celebrates people who have gone the extra step to inspire change.

Poonam plans to take her initiative forward through different distribution models like multilevel marketing (the Champions model to be launched in Delhi) and the franchisee model (recently launched in Mangalore).

Poonam Bir Kasturi exemplifies how change can be brought about at an individual level to make a start. WEBO Power supports Poonam Kasturi and Daily Dump in their vision to create sustainable solutions and urges all readers to relook at how they manage their daily waste.

Interviewed By: Sakshi Aggarwal, Team WEBO Power
Posted On: May 17, 2013

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4 Comments on “Poonam Bir Kasturi – Recycling waste to create sustainable alternatives”

  1. Hello I am a great believer of recycling organic waste! Waste is actually not the right word for food scrap and other organic materials as they are in fact rich in nutrients that can be given back to the earth if they are treated correctly.

    Iv’e recycled all my household, animal and garden waste for more than 15 years now with the help of earthworms. The process is known as worm composting or worm farming and gains more and more popularity all over the world.

    The worms are kept in bins and fed kitchen- and garden scraps which they feed on and convert into worm castings one of the best natural fertilizers known to man.

    A worm farm is easy to maintain and doesn’t produce any bad odors.

    May be this would be a great addition to your remarkable initiative.

    All the best and future success!

    June 2, 2014 at 8:07 am Reply
  2. Asha Sivanuri #

    The initiative is so laudable that any participation seems a blessing. Kudos to Poonamji and her team,may God be with them in all their endeavours!

    September 3, 2013 at 12:35 am Reply
  3. Mousumi #

    Great Initiative Ma’am…Hope your energy and enthusiasm spreads to one and all.

    June 8, 2013 at 2:18 pm Reply
  4. A.Mohamed Ali #

    It is an excellent mission to save our mother earth and feed our mother earth with natural manure(compost). We shall, certainly be happy to do this because earning money and social work apart we will have satisfaction of feeding our own mother when she is seriously ill / sick. If every one of us play our part we will be fulfilling the purpose of our mission in this beautiful world that God the almighty has blessed us to live in peacefully in harmony with everyone.

    May 23, 2013 at 8:07 am Reply

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