Back to Earth: Composting for Various Contexts

With organics making up more than 50% of solid waste in Asia, managing this waste stream will have a huge impact on waste management and the reduction of methane emissions. 

With superb illustrations and easy-to-follow instructions, “Back to Earth” encourages people to explore every facet of composting: whether in a sprawling backyard or in a limited space such as a high-rise apartment, composting can be customized to suit any situation. 

The most important message, however, is that composting is a simple and yet effective step anyone can take to help alleviate the burden on our landfills, replenish soil nutrients, and reduce carbon and methane emissions. 

The South African government’s “model” Clean Developmenbt Mechanism project at the Bisasar landfill is a disappointment for citizens demanding environmental and social justice. Rather than assisting in tackling climate change, the project amplifies local, environmental health risks and undermines livelihoods while rekindling Apartheid-era racial conflicts.

A new United Nations report shows that we must tackle methane emissions to keep planetary warming under control. Methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, and much of it comes from organic waste in landfills. The good news is that we can solve this problem simply and easily through zero waste. By preventing organic waste from being landfilled we can protect our climate AND improve our food systems. Read our fact sheet and blog for details.

Located in the North of Italy, Capannori (46,700 inhabitants) is the first town in Europe which declared the Zero Waste goal in 2007. Led by a primary school teacher, Rossano Ercolini (President of Zero Waste Europe), a small but determined movement stopped the construction of an incinerator and convinced the municipality to commit to sending zero waste to landfill by 2020.

In 2005, a wall of waste in the Leuwigajah landfill, collapsed killing 157 people. Three years after the incident Indonesia enacted the Waste Mangement Law of 2008 with an intention to change its waste management from a collect-transport-dump scheme to a more integrated system that incorporates collection, sorting, recycling, and waste processing.

Puede decirse que la ciudad de Rafaela es una rara avis en el mundo del manejo de residuos. En el año 2003, cuando el municipio decidió cerrar el antiguo basural a cielo abierto, inició un nuevo camino hacia la recuperación de los residuos urbanos que sostiene y mejora ininterrumpidamente hasta hoy. A fuerza de persistencia, creatividad, transparencia y un desarrollo institucional que posibilitó la continuidad y la evolución del programa, Rafaela ha ido sentando las bases para recuperar cada vez más y disponer cada vez menos residuos.

El consorcio regional de gestion de residuos de la provincia española de Gipuzkoa, frente a un relleno sanitario en uso y cercano a su capacidad maxima en 2002, propuso la construccion de dos nuevos incineradores. La ciudadania se opuso tenazmente e impidio la construccion de uno de ellos. Luego, continuo la oposicion al segundo incinerador y tras una compleja campaña, Gipuzkoa es hoy la primera provincia de España libre de incineradores.