Market waste composting in Lima, Peru

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Courtesy of ORBIT e.V.

The Empresa de Servicios Municipales de Limpieza de Lima (ESMLL and the Pan American Center for Sanitary Engineering and Environmental Sciences (CEPIS) carried out in 1993 a joint research project oriented toward the recovery and use of market waste for compost production to benefit from the wastes generated in Lima..

This pilot project represents an effort aimed at solving the major waste management problems by determining the technical feasibility of the compost production using market wastes, and by evaluating its cost/benefit relation, considering the ecological and agricultural benefits. In general, municipal solid waste in Lima has a high organic matter content, and hence, it can be used in the composting process as final treatment. The climatic conditions of Lima, with its lack of water and poor crop soil structure, make composting an optimal alternative, since this organic conditioner enriches soil and retains water.

A segregation process to eliminate inorganic matter usually precedes composting. This creates an ideal situation to carry out a program for recovery of recyclable material that would work jointly with compost production, since waste segregation is an income source of most low-income population in Lima.

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