Recycle Organics Publishes New Report on Organic Waste Management Initiatives

The report presents and analyzes successful case studies and recommendations on organic waste management projects implemented around the world. 

With support from Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), the Recycle Organics Program has published a new report that provides valuable insights into large-scale composting, home composting and anaerobic digestion, along with practical recommendations for implementing these sustainable waste management projects. The report presents and analyzes successful and innovative case studies and initiatives happening around the world to showcase how countries and municipalities can implement, replicate and accelerate green waste management projects on the ground to create co-benefits for communities.

Key takeaways from the report:

  • Throughout the report, composting is highlighted as an excellent option for managing green and brown waste, emphasizing the importance of economies of scale to reduce operational costs 
  • By securing larger amounts of organic waste, projects can become more viable. While anaerobic digestion requires higher initial investments, it can process a wider variety of organic waste. Modular systems are suggested as a lower-cost option for project installation. Home composting is noted for its community engagement and can reduce waste management costs for local and national governments. 
  • The report includes successful public and private case studies from regions such as Pérez Zeledón and Desamparados in Costa Rica, and examples from Fiji and Côte d’Ivoire. These case studies showcase diverse approaches to waste management, highlighting the importance of selecting the right technology to achieve specific goals and objectives from a country’s context. By leveraging the by-products of these processes, strong business models can be built, ensuring the sustainability of these projects and transforming organic waste management into a source of income rather than a sole disposal method.
  • The environmental and social benefits of each technology are emphasized, showcasing their importance beyond reducing emissions. Implementing these technologies can create jobs in the waste management sector, restore degraded soils, and reduce fossil fuel consumption, among many other co-benefits for local communities. This comprehensive approach demonstrates that these technologies not only treat organic waste but also provide a multitude of opportunities. 
  • In a related webinar hosted in March 2024, these topics were discussed, and successful case studies were presented. The Lautoka City Council project (Fiji) was highlighted as a public initiative for large-scale composting and home composting. Key lessons included ensuring high-quality compost to create a strong market for this product and the necessity of capacity building to address challenges like community engagement and operational problems. On the other hand, the case presented by the Centre for Appropriate Technology and Development (Fiji) showed how anaerobic digestion can be applied for educational purposes and behavioral changes, while providing savings for institutions. 

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About the Recycle Organics Program: 

Implemented by CCAP and ImplementaSur, the underlying goal of the Recycle Organics program is to help the countries it supports achieve the Global Methane Pledge of reducing their methane emissions by 30% by 2030, while bringing significant environmental, economic and social benefits to local communities. The Program focuses on policy and projects, helping to create enabling conditions for a sustainable expansion of organic waste treatment technologies and develop a community of practice within the regions it supports. 

Recycle Organics has a particular focus on working with developing countries and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), which have historically contributed the least to climate change but are typically hit the hardest by its cascading effects. Many of these countries are especially vulnerable to extreme heat, intensified storms and flooding because of the warming planet, making the goals of the Paris Agreement to keep warming below 1.5 °C evermore critical. 

In total, the Recycle Organics Program supports 20+ countries and is funded by ECCC, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) and the Global Methane Hub through different initiatives and projects. ECCC is currently supporting four Caribbean and two Pacific Island countries via the Recycle Organics program.