“At Valoriza Medioambiente, our contracts include practices that advance the efficient use of resources and the development of the circular economy. Such is the case with the proposals to manage bio-waste in the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
By weight, bio-waste represents the largest portion of domestic waste deposited, nearly 40% of the total, or about 0.45 kg/person/day. So, launching initiatives in the management phase of this waste segment—whether through prevention by composting, or through selective collection—contributes to that goal and also improves collection service efficiency,” explains Javier Nombela, manger of Valoriza Medioambiente in the Canary Islands.
From a prevention perspective, Javier Nombela has led a campaign to promote home composting in Santa Cruz de Tenerife by delivering composters to several homes in the region’s rural areas. The composters include manuals and training so users can create their own compost for use in their gardens, orchards, potted plants, etc.
“Our goal is to deliver as many as 1,500 composters. After the awareness campaign, users contact the company and we proceed with delivery. During the composting process, we conduct follow-ups to ensure their proper use,” Nombela says.
Each composter has a 300-liter capacity and measures 80 x 65 x 65. To make compost, food scraps are added and mixed with plant matter, which serves as a structuring element for the compost. The mixture is stored for 3-5 months, stirring once a week to ensure the presence of oxygen, until mature compost is obtained.
“Meanwhile, with regard to selective collection, a pilot program is underway to collect organic matter from major generators. It is a voluntary program that currently has 38 registered members, including hotels, schools, hospitals, restaurants, and retailers. This is the easiest segment to valorize. If properly separated at the source, it yields a top-quality final product—compost—that is useful in farming and gardening.”
The service includes the provision of brown containers of varying capacity (40, 120, and 800 liters), selected by the participating establishments depending on their storage needs, available space, and desired collection frequency Monday through Friday.
In the medium term, beginning in December 2021, the program will be extended to household collection by installing a fifth container, a brown one, on public roads.
In 2018 and 2019, a pilot test was conducted in Puerto de la Cruz (Tenerife) on composting organic food waste at one major generator, the Tigaiga hotel. Roughly 17 tons of bio-waste were treated each year, resulting in approximately two tons of good, quality compost that was used for landscaping.
This pilot test was associated with the eco-innovative ‘Onsite Composting’ measure, which is part of the European Urban Waste Project to reduce the generation of waste in tourist destinations, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Program.