Five kilogrammes of compost in a sack

May 28, 2008

Today Georg went to visit Comlurb, the company which is in charge of household waste collection and street cleaning for the centre of the Rio metropolitan area. During the visit he had the opportunity to visit the landfill site Aterro de Gramacho, one of the biggest landfills in South America. The site has a daily income of more then 6000 tons of household waste. It is situated somewhere in Duque de Caxis, to the north of Rio and until 1995 was not in a satisfactory situation. Due to investment of more then 80 million pounds, the site is now one of the safest in Brazil.

Recycling in Brasil is slightly different to the UK and has a strong social component. On the site itself, are more than 1000 people who collect and seperate out any valuable material from the incoming waste.Georg was told that the informal recycling sector in Rio employs more than 6000 people, who work in a very unhealthy environment.

The visit to one of Comlurb’s compost plants was also part of the programme. It has a capacitiy of 300 tons daily. Composting is very important in Rio, as more then 50% of all domestic waste is compostable.

At the end Georg recieved a sack full of compost material as a goodbye present from the site manager. Georg will undertake some research to see if there is a market in the UK for this material.