Community composting for 50 households, whose final product – compost – serves as a fertilizer for involved households and public areas
The main issue that this project has to address is the environmental problem and is related to reducing the amount of landfilled bio-waste. It is intended to improve the local environment by using compost in already existing ornamental planting. An important goal is also to get the local community familiar with the issue of composting, mainly in terms of its benefits and change of the way how the bio-waste and its use is perceived so far. (i.e., it is not merely a smelly raw material in a garbage container to be disposed of as soon as possible).
The bio-waste is stored and decomposed in one of the three chambers. After a year of bio-waste disposal, the first chamber is closed and the compost enters into a maturation phase. In the meantime, a second chamber is available for bio-waste disposal. Only after the compost has matured will the output be measurable by its weight. From this quantity it will theoretically be possible to calculate the amount of bio-waste that would otherwise be disposed in the landfill.
The project runs since October 2018. At present, the first composting chamber is in the closing phase and the second chamber is available for bio-waste disposal.
Fifty households are successfully involved in the project. Each household obtained a manual for bio-waste sorting (i.e., what raw materials can be composted), a bio-waste bucket and a key from the composter, as it is lockable to ensure that inappropriate materials are not thrown in by unauthorized persons.
The amount of grant was EUR 4 000 (EUR 3 000 for composter, EUR 1000 for promotion and composting accessories). Once a week, bio-waste needs to be dug and mixed, which is done voluntarily by a member of an informal group. At present, there are no costs related to operation of the composter.
Evidence of success
This way of bio-waste management actually works and contributes to bio-based circular economy at local level. The costs of collecting bio-waste from households are saved and the community itself can better control the composition of the biological material that is composted and the community is also able to use the compost to the extent possible. Last but not least, the emphasis is also on positive communication and socialization of the people in the community.
The vast majority of residents agreed with the operation of the composter. However, there was also one complaint that eventually proved unjustified. On the contrary, it can be seen that the prejudice on composting regarding odour, rodents, etc. is not fulfilled.
Potential for learning or transfer
This way of bio-waste management is beneficial for communities in cities and municipalities from several aspects. It reduces the amount of landfilled waste and hence the cost of the municipality / city for its transport and disposal on landfill. Since the biological component represents on average 50% of weight of municipal waste, a positive result is a reduction of the total amount of waste in containers.
However, it should be stressed that this way of bio-waste management requires some effort, such as keeping strictly the composition of the input biological material, digging, mixing, aeration and bio-waste chopping for faster decomposition.
The permanent challenge is to ensure consistent education for residents in the field of bio-waste separation, effective composting options for people and care for composters.