Waste makes haste, haste makes waste – Poonam Bir Kasturi, founder “Daily Dump” @ Indialogues

Poonam Bir Kasturi, founder, Daily Dump
Poonam Bir Kasturi, founder, Daily Dump

Household waste?? What are you going to do with it? Wait for the Municipal Corp to pick it up? Or make high grade compost, with virtually zero effort?

Poonam Bir Kasturi, a true eco warrior of our times. Based out of Bangalore, The Daily Dump are involved in developing a range of composting solutions, and already have a number of simple home Composters for distribution. The Daily Dump products are designed to ensure that you compost at home, conveniently and hygienically.

Working on the idea that 50% -70% Urban Indian household waste is wet waste , most of this waste going to the dumps is illegal (the dumps are overloaded already) , she aims at making composting a regular feature in the lives of Urban Indians. She aims at overcoming mindsets, even of educated people, and to get them to believe that if managed well, composting is a hygienic process.

She believes that Daily Dump is not going to change the world – but it can make a difference.
How many of you throw stuff out every day? Do you think India is clean country? wonderfully clean country!!

Do you want to be a cleaner? But, the interesting things you have to change relationship with materials.

“Daily Dump” was started five years ago. Srishti, the design school in Bangalore, I ran it. As I watch India change, I was finding too much turbulence. Mindsets were scary. It got me.

I am going to take something that matters to me every day. I am personally going to do something.

Daily dump brings a large issue called waste. I did not have any relationship with dustbin. Our approach is how do we create at the granular level, information about waste.

Do you know this? Milk sachet 15 rupees a kg. If you do not throw it, it will stink and breed cockroaches..Bottles – two and half years ago, no one was picking up.

You should be concerned about waste. What is govt doing? People do not understand what they are putting into the dustbin every day. How can we make it interesting? How can we make people to know the dustbin.

If we want to take control back, stop throwing out a mixed bag every day. 50% of the dustbin is organic – vegetable, rothi, …

Know the categories –
– 1. Wet organic waste can be made into compost at home,
– 2. cardboard – reuse,
– 3. hazardous toxic
– 4. Rejects – to landfill

Today only thing you feel is we feel good about getting rid of ‘waste’. We do not have any incentive to categorize and it is easy to throw away.

How do you create a business when no body wants to throw with a thought? India is going to be ready in another few years. We have to get things right.

We do a lot of things that can excite the school kids. We have to make it look cool.

Can we make waste look beautiful, that is in periphery? When you want to control natural resources, you cannot throw things at the periphery.

What is quality of life, if you do not know, you cannot design. Do not leave anything ambiguous. Truth is if you manage compost making, it will not smell.


How do we use products that can help simple acts of building relationships with throwing? I can make a difference to everything I do. I can contribute to make the city clean

We are very small. Govt of India has a school contribution component. Schools could help students learn and use.

I am not singly equipped to make any difference. There are many who are as passionate. Instead of going out and hiring (I cannot pay), let us get those who are passionate. We charge small fees, for those who start businesses. We want them to be independent. We share the expertise. We want to make them self-sufficient and take charge of their lives and business.

I saw potter communities dying. In the US you have to go through so much of training to become potter. Even then skill gained is no match to the communities of potters around the country. They have got benefit from our project.

potter composter design, Daily Dump
potter composter design, Daily Dump

They have a network with road-side shops selling them. Potters are keen to be entrepreneurs. Our idea is, that every potter should own the concept, everywhere in the country. You are for profit or not for it. We are not for greed.

Three things that have happened or things that are important for India’s change

1. Solutions do not exist in legacy mindset –

While I applaud swach and nanao, I dream about taking common water bodies into sustainable business model, where common gets new lease of life

(when I started researching on waste, no body in the govt bothered. Govt wants to cart to farthest village and dump. Scientist – you cannot create high quality compost, tech guys – you have to invest 600 crore; At the ground level, people are already segregating. 12-13 papers make a kg – 30 rupees in month;)

If we want greater autonomy, then we have to contribute to the common water bodies.

2. Michigan – ‘poor’ cannot be seen as just consumers, they have to be seen as producers.

India is very complex, we can go to war by creating complex stuff. We have to be subversive to create solutions. We need to have the ability to understand political economy.

Contractors will come to your doorstep to stop your alternative solution. Upstarts are not supposed to take away the business. There has to be a personal point, you as designer, entrepreneur, innovator have to make the tough choice of how much you will let go, control you let go. It is important..

It is an open source project. Open source is the only way to bring long lasting way of change.

3 perseverance – commitment

Many abandon projects.. I have to be committed to change. You have to put your life on the block. Each one goes through challenges.

Other important thing is, What do I see? Here I invite you too see waste in a different light –

Paper selling –
– Chor
– Does not weigh properly
– Unclean work
– Unclean shop
They are not allowed, dirty, filthy… can we see them as a recycle guru..

They are green warriors of the city… They take all the material to reach the recyclers. They take business risks.. they are entrepreneurs. They have taken your perspective with smile. If you are in Singapore, you pay him to take away the kabaadi. You will treat him scathingly here. You do not fight for him, do you?

Design, I find, in this country, a large way facilitator. These peoples lives are linked with lives. I can only grow if he grows.

Recycling is very important. Wipro in the last quarter said that they hav 1.1 lakh employees. 1 lakh in waste management in Bangalore alone, if you want to impact our society we need to facilitate them.

Suresh, a recycle guru, collaborates with us with clarity of thought of about his shop floor design. Can we equip these waste management vendors with platforms that enable them understand what the customers really want.

We look at his business closely – how best he can benefit, customers can benefit, and how city can benefit.

Do you see it as WASTE or RESOURCE? How do you see every day, every experience you can connect back.


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