"Take composting into your own hands! Collectively handle the organic waste!" Based on this reasoning, an interesting and pioneering initiative has taken place over the last three years in Kalamata, Greece. It is the first, at least as far as we know, attempt to create a self managed neighborhood network of composting in Greece.
It all began in 2011, when a team of active citizens named "Re: Think Project" decided to launch a system of self-managed, local organic waste composting. The idea was very simple, yet entrepreneurial. When there are people in a neighborhood that want to cooperatively compost, a composter is placed. Then, the community fuels the bin with their organic waste and care for it. Of course, all who contribute can also take some of the compost that is produced. The innovation of this process is the prominence of people’s initiative, activation, awareness, and self management. Additionally, they utilize a communal composter, rather than a single family home model. It is significant that the first composters were handmade and were created with great care and expertise.
The innovation of "Re: Think Project" has a noteworthy resonance. Several teams were created and composting experienced great strides, thanks to scientific supervision and the help of the citizens who joined these groups that had requisite know-how. In order to inform more citizens regarding composting, "Re: Think Project" undertakes several experiential workshops every time a composter is installed. Their target is to familiarize the users with both the procedure and the control of the network, and also the process of gathering the produced compost.
A New Convention
The success of "Re: Think Project" was enormously appreciated by Kalamata’s Municipality, which decided to offer composters and places for their installation, as well as financial support. The Municipality fuels the composter with what is gathered after pruning, which is necessary in order to produce high quality compost. Recently, "Re: Think Project" and Kalamata’s Municipality signed a cooperation contract, to which it was stated that there are already 24 composters installed, with an eventual goal of reaching 60 composting bins.
Every composter absorbs seven tons of organic waste with average usage and can reach up to double that capacity. That means seven tons of garbage less for the Municipality to gather. We should consider that every ton of garbage that the Municipality deals with costs around 85 Euros. The expense regarding the pruning of green spaces is also decreased. Additionally, there will be less cost for public space fertilizing. Nevertheless, the most important profit of this project is undoubtedly the development of people’s environmental awareness.
Are there any groups in your city that practice composting?
Original article, originally published in Greek, here.
Credits: Images and Data linked to sources.