Home composting

Description of the problem:

Urban Solid Waste´s problems are well known throughout the world.  Social, economic and environmental impacts of waste management are large and very extensive. In Argentina, nearly 15 million of solid urban wastes are generated every year.
At the city of Olavarría, province of Buenos Aires, about 110 tons of urban solid waste (USW) are generated every day, at an average rate of 1.05 kg. per day, per person. It is also known that practically 60-70% of these wastes are organic (also known as bio-waste).

This waste is currently placed and buried at a controlled landfill, emitting greenhouse gases that damage the ozone layer, generating leached liquids, bad odors and attracting vectors that can cause diseases.

Nowadays, in terms of waste, most actions are concentrated on recycling, energy recovery and final disposal, but to complement these actions, in order to truly have an integral impact, it is necessary to work on prevention and minimization or reduction of waste. This is where home composting comes in.

General Objective

The main objective is to develop and implement a home composting program. It is part of the strategy adopted by the municipality for the integral urban solid waste management (IUWM) and is one of the main actions to achieve waste reduction at source.

Olavarria´s town hall seeks with this program to reduce the number of organic waste collected, thus reducing the emission of greenhouse gases associated with the entire process of collection, treatment and final disposal. In addition, it reduces the landfill used for final disposal, the leachate produced at the place and saves energy.

From the socio-environmental point of view this action seeks to educate the community and establish separation practices at home, increasing awareness of waste impacts and environment, while obtaining at the same time an organic low cost fertilizer that can be used at their own garden.

The emissions of gases with greenhouse effects (GHG) are significantly reduced with the composting process. This is because it is an aerobic process and methane gas is not generated during the decomposition of organic waste.

Resolution strategy:

The project strategy is based manly in working together with the Municipality, institutions, non-profit associations, student groups and the community in general.

The program includes the delivery of a composting device and a technical manual for every family, special training programs, visits from promoters to houses in order to follow-up and monitoring the composting process and also an analysis and control of the outcome.

Main steps are:

1- Awareness workshop program oriented for community.

2- Interview with families interested in participating and receiving the material.

3- Training program and visits that will be carried out mainly by the project promoters

The actors of this project are:

Authority - The Municipality. The program will be integrated as part of the strategic plan for Integrated Management of Urban Solid Waste.

Operational Manager - Monitoring and coordination of the entire project.

Promoters - Spread the program, carry out the visits to houses and the whole monitoring of the project. Groups of students, non-profit associations and the neighbors themselves will be promoters.

Neighbors - will perform composting at homes and also be willing to open doors to promoters in order to check the process and collect data.


Amount requested: US$157.700

Municipality: US$15.800

Total amount: US$ 173.500

Contact: rbertolino@ramcc.net