With three composting centers, the City seeks to convert green waste into fertilizers
20 Mar 2021
There are a total of 8 thousand square meters where almost 600 tons of fallen leaves, flower remains, cut grass and small branches are processed per month. Compost is used to plant green spaces. But in addition, they launched a guide so that each porteño can carry out this technique in homes with organic waste.
In the city of Buenos Aires – despite the fact that the meters of land to have plants and flowers are scarce – the balconies and the backs of the houses are the favorite space of lovers of gardening and orchards. And, as is known, one of the best fertilizers for growing plants and vegetation in general is compost. It is achieved through a procedure that converts organic waste into compost. This treatment is called – predictably – composting.
The procedure is achieved through the decomposition of organic waste, much of it generated in the kitchen, but also through green waste from parks or squares. Increasingly, there is awareness of the importance that composting has not only for those who love to farm, but for caring for the environment and recycling waste.
With this ecological trend steadily increasing, the City started up three Composting Centers, which are located in the Palermo, Chacarita and Villa Soldati neighborhoods. Between the three they have more than 8 thousand square meters dedicated to composting and process almost 600 tons of green waste per month, a material that is then used for the maintenance and care of public spaces.
Food scraps are easily detectable in any kitchen. But what do they mean by green scraps? “They are a fraction of urban solid waste composed of fallen leaves, cut grass, flower remains and branches with a diameter of less than 10 centimeters,” explains the GCBA in a report detailing the objectives of the composting project. These are: treating green waste, reducing the tons of waste that reach the landfill; turn the Green Centers into places of environmental awareness and generate compost, that is to say, valorize the green remains, to use it as fertilizer and soil improver.
In the centers, an aerobic composting process is carried out in rows, in which organic matter is decomposed by the action of microorganisms and transformed into compost. Once the compost is obtained through this process, “It is used to sow grass in gardens, in flowerbeds and in the orchards that each Center has. To continue consolidating the circular economy and the maintenance and care of our squares and parks ”, explains the report.
The city’s compost centers are located in the Palermo Velodrome, in the Chacarita Cemetery and in the Indo-American Park, located in Villa Soldati. The latter is the most extensive, has a surface area of 5000 square meters and has a treatment capacity of 20 tons per day.
But to carry out the composting, the porteños can not only go to these centers. It can also be done at home with organic waste. To this end, the Buenos Aires government published a Home Composting Guide, to spread this practice among more and more neighbors.
“The composting process is carried out through microorganisms (bacteria and fungi, mainly) that degrade the original organic matter until transforming it into more stable organic matter, composed of smaller and shorter biomolecules”, explains the Home Composting Guide of the Buenos Aires government and adds: “During this process energy is released (in the form of heat), carbon dioxide and water. And, for it to be carried out properly, organic waste must be in an oxygenated environment with a certain degree of humidity. Likewise, the waste mixture must have a certain relationship between carbon and nitrogen, so that there is good growth and metabolic activity of the microorganisms that carry out the degradation ”.
In this way, the composting technique is very beneficial for caring for the environment because it allows reducing the amount of waste that is buried in sanitary landfills, thus reducing methane gas emissions. “This is essential to combat climate change, since the greenhouse effect of methane can be up to 28 times greater than that of carbon dioxide,” explains the Guide.
In addition, composting allows closing the cycle of organic matter, since it favors its return to the soil. “In this way, the soil gains structure and also nutrients that will be very beneficial for the soil and plants,” the report adds.
Composting Centers Location
Av. Belisario Roldán 4650, Velodrome of the City, Palermo neighborhood; Chacarita Cemetery, Chacarita; Av. Castañares 4050, Villa Soldati.
Composting Centers Characteristics
• more than 8000 m dedicated to compost production.
• Land of 1,600 m.
• It started in December 2017.
• Treatment capacity of 12 tons per day.
Velodrome in Palermo:
• Property of 1,500 m.
• Started in August 2018
• Treatment capacity of 10 tons per day.
• Site of more than 5000 m.
• It started in August 2020.
• Treatment capacity of 20 tons per day.