Circular Economy Pilot for Organic Waste in Commercial Establishments

©Skat Foundation – Delivery of compost by the municipal waste manager and Skat Foundation to one of the fruit and vegetable shops participating in the pilot.

Description of the Project

The project’s primary goal is to implement a pilot system for selective organic waste collection and treatment within the commercial sector in Turrialba, Costa Rica. This initiative is dedicated to mitigating climate change effects and fostering the circular utilisation of organic waste resources. 

Specific objectives 

  • Launch of a pilot system for selective organic waste collection and composting. 
  • Strengthening the waste separation and organic waste delivery capacities of selected businesses. 
  • Enhancing ongoing technical and operational capabilities for effective and enduring composting practices. 

The project has established a centralised composting facility to efficiently manage organic waste from local businesses, including restaurants, ice cream parlors, and cafeterias. Key elements of this ongoing initiative include developed optimised waste collection routes, acquired vital composting equipment, and prepared facilities dedicated to composting.In collaboration with the ASOPRET Association’s recyclers, the project is implementing training workshops and communication campaigns.

These efforts are specifically tailored to educate business administrators and their employees on sustainable development and the critical importance of managing organic waste effectively. The goal is to instill best practices in waste separation and to highlight the role of organic waste management in fostering a circular economy, thereby addressing the broader environmental challenge posed by organic waste.

Main activities

  • Prepare facilities: Adapt infrastructure to implement composting operations. Ensure proper organic waste segregation and handling facilities. 
  • Equipment Procurement: Acquire basic equipment (e.g., shredder, shovels, pH meter, temperature meter, trommel, scale). 
  • Emission Monitoring: Monitor the reduction of organic matter treated in the pilot plant and the subsequent prevention of landfill emissions. 
  • Communication and Awareness Campaign: Design and implement a communication and awareness campaign targeting the prioritised population on organic waste management, source separation, and the link between circular economy and food security. 
  • Training and Technical Assistance: Develop a comprehensive training programme for organic waste composting. Provide technical assistance and training on operational best practices. 

Location & Country: Turrialba, Costa Rica

Project Period: 2023

Thematic Focus: Waste Management
  • Circular economy of organic waste 
  • Greenhouse gas emission reduction 
  • Sustainable waste management 
  • Capacity building and training 
  • Climate change mitigation 
  • Inclusion

Name of Staff involved and functions performed:

Dr. Sandra Mendez Fajardo. Project Coordinator and Advisor. Expert in Solid Waste Management.

Achievements in 2023:

74 people have access to new pilot service of selective collection and treatment of organic waste (44 women, 30 men). 

12.3 tonnes of organic waste treated, resulting in an emission prevention of 12.38 tCO2 equivalent of methane.

14 people who improved, through training, their knowledge and skills in good waste management practices and food waste prevention (5 women, 9 men).