Local authorities can launch decentralized composting projects, encourage them, support them, etc.
We have just presented the extension of the report "Advantages of Composting", in which we highlight the successful experiences of the application of composting in various municipalities. In the first edition of the report, published in 2011, we showed the benefits of composting, with a focus on decentralized composting: home and community.
These advantages are increasingly known, the elimination of the need for transport when managing waste at home, obtaining a compost of excellent quality, which avoids the purchase of fertilizers from "composting" people and the high sensitizing and awareness-raising potential of this practice, not to mention the potential savings it represents for municipalities.
Local authorities can launch decentralized composting projects, encourage them, support them, etc. And there are several successful experiences that demonstrate the benefits provided by this type of project.
However, decentralized projects provide solutions to small and dispersed municipalities, but cannot reach 100% of the population in medium-sized municipalities and large cities.
The organic fraction accounts for 42% of municipal waste, and it is, of the non-hazardous waste streams, the one that generates the most impacts both in landfill and in incineration, due to its fermentable condition (that is, it decomposes and emits gases) , and because of its carbon content, a precursor of dioxins and furans in its burning. It is easily recyclable (compostable), so much so that it is the only recycling that can be done at home, without the need for other technologies.
But without a separation in origin, the organic fraction is useless. It is easily contaminated, losing its ability to become compost / compost, and becomes directly non-recoverable waste, whose only destination can be the landfill or incinerator.
With the implementation of the selective separation of organic matter, several problems are solved that now, due to regulations and environmental needs, must be remedied. Would:
- Facilitation of the practice of composting, and obtaining quality compost.
- Possibility of improving biomethanization processes.
- Reduction in the amount of waste that is inevitably destined for landfill and incineration.
- Improvement of the quality of inorganic waste collected for recycling, since the amount of improper waste is reduced.
- Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions produced by landfills and incinerators.
The waste sector is significant for diffuse greenhouse gas emissions, those that do not correspond to a single industrial facility, but to the daily habits of millions of people, such as transport, agriculture or waste management . The organic fraction of the waste is the flow that causes the highest emissions with its inadequate management.
Therefore, we consider it essential to take a further step in decentralized composting, and that this management of compostable waste is the norm. Therefore, in the new version of The Advantages of Composting we have included the different options that local entities have to collect separately the organic fraction of municipal waste, the need to start this collection, and a list of different municipalities of the Spanish state that already carry out this collection.
We consider it essential that the municipalities bet on municipal composting in parallel to decentralized composting, depending on the characteristics of each municipality. This change in management leads to key results for progress towards zero waste, in which it seeks to minimize as much as possible waste that is not compostable, recyclable or reusable, thus reducing dependence on large disposal infrastructures.