One of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is to ensure sustainable patterns of production and consumption – the objective 12 One of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is to ensure sustainable patterns of production and consumption – the 17 that will need to be fulfilled within the maximum period of 2030 for all 193 UN countries. To achieve this goal, one way to be followed is the reduction of waste generation through prevention, recycling and reuse.
Often, recycling is associated with materials such as plastic, paper, metal and glass. Nonetheless, What many people are still unaware of is that organic waste – mainly made up of food waste – can also be recycled and transformed into organic fertilizer through a process called composting..
A composting initiative that has been conquering residents of the city of Rio de Janeiro is the ‘Organic Cycle’, designed by environmental engineer Lucas Chiabi.
Realizing that many people, just like him, they bothered with organic waste and looked for a solution to give it the correct destination at the time of disposal, Lucas started to offer the service of collecting and composting this material.
"Many people think that organic is not recyclable because composting is not widespread and is not as common as recycling other materials. When the person realizes the amount of waste they generated, begins to realize what this waste was and how it consumes", Lucas tells the United Nations Information Center for Brazil (UNIC Rio).
he adds that, In Rio de Janeiro city, organic represents just over half of the waste produced.
The Cycle customer receives a small bucket with the capacity to 10 liters and a biodegradable plastic bag – made from corn and potatoes – to deposit organic waste, which is collected weekly and transported by bicycle to the point where the compost is made.
currently, the process takes place at Parque do Martelo, in Humaita, south zone of Rio de Janeiro. Lucas uses the location and, In contrast, half of the fertilizer goes to the residents' association, which manages the space.
at the end of the month, Organic Cycle users receive an email informing the amount of waste that has been discarded, the amount of fertilizer that was produced and the amount of CO2 emissions that were avoided. This ends up generating a reflection on what is consumed and an understanding that organic waste has value and can be used.
Consumption also modifies, because now knowing what is 'compostable' or not, I choose the packaging. Everything I don't recycle goes to the dump and we start to become aware of it", says Elizabeth Rodrigues, compost service user.
In just two and a half years, the project - which involves 650 families and 26 commercial establishments and schools - already recycled 260 tons of organic waste.
The participant has the right to choose between receiving a seasoning change or the organic compost. Or, then, donate your reward to community gardens in the locality such as Parque do Martelo. The project meets, for a while, in the south zone, Barra da Tijuca and downtown Rio de Janeiro, but those who do not live in these areas can take their bucket to one of the collection points..
There are other initiatives such as the ‘Organic Cycle’ spread across Brazil, One of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is to ensure sustainable patterns of production and consumption – the Re-cycle, in Porto Alegre (RS); a Brotei, in Florianopolis (SC); One of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is to ensure sustainable patterns of production and consumption – the Ecobalde, in Campo Grande (MS).