Circular Economy with Organic Waste – an Eco-business with future
State of affairs:
- In the many European regions – in particular in Spain, Greece and Slovakia – organic waste will so far only to a small extent be recycled and processed. But unprocessed organic waste does contribute to the climate crisis by emitting considerable amounts of methane.
- The Waste Framework Directive of the European Union commits all Member States to increase the reuse and recycling of municipal waste to a minimum of 55% (by weight) by 2025, 60% by 2030 and 65% by 2035.
- Composting organic waste produces humus suitable to increase soil fertility. They are increasingly needed in agriculture that is suffering from the loss of soil fertility, especially in the Mediterranean regions. It is also possible to produce biogas and to use the residues of the process in agriculture.
- In many rural regions, families in precarious economic conditions are cultivating gardens or small farms for self-supply and/or for selling their products. In particular for these households processing bio-waste may be useful to fertilize their gardens or small farms .
- Experiences from many examples show that a large part of the inhabitants of communities have yet to be informed and trained how to deal with organic waste in an appropriate and environmentally favorable manner. Therefore, the introduction of bio-waste collection, as the recycling waste in general in municipalities, should always be accompanied by campaigns of information and raising environmental consciousness .
Especially in rural communities with more relations of neighbourhood, we recommend the recycling of organic waste, starting with a restricted number of households. The processing of waste should be used to fertilise gardens with the humus produced. Of course, there are different processes suitable for composting. The project “Mamatana” in our region La Janda has opted for vermicomposting. At the same time, it is recommended to link the project with the collection and composting of animal excrements frequently remaining unprocessed and therefore polluting the environment in rural areas.
We consider it useful to combine the activity with educational activities to inform residents of the towns and villages about organic waste collection and composting, its purpose and its benefits.
The proposed project, despite its high social benefits, will probably not be profitable in its start-up phase. Therefore we recommend that in the first step it should be introduced and supported as a non-profit enterprise in cooperation with public institutions (municipality, provincial administration etc.). In the further development it has to be decided to manage the recycling by an enterprise – we recommend: in a cooperative form – or to choose a fully communal approach in the local treatment and recycling of organic waste by the municipality itself.
In the Andalusian town Paterna de Rivera we are initiating such a project, therefore looking for contact and exchange with similar activities.
GreenTecLab La Janda(Cádiz) and the eco-association “Mamatana” in Paterna de Rivera