Several years ago, the Instituto Lixo Zero Brasil (Zero Waste Brazil), the primary national force in the country pushing for organics diversion, established Compost Week. Similar to Compost Awareness Week in other countries, it is held during the first week of May. Events include workshops, webinars, conferences, public activities, and tours all over Brazil.
In support of Compost Week, Planta Feliz (Happy Plant), a family-owned composting facility located in Sao Paulo, one of Brazil’s largest cities, started mobilizing composters, businesses, residents and government representatives by offering weekly webinars during the month of April. Attendees included composters, agronomists, ecologists, community leaders, journalists, government representatives, and multiple businesses associations. Presenters shared their experiences, obstacles and solutions encountered in their efforts to increase composting in their states and communities. The program was an impressive prelude to Compost Week, illustrating how the movement is growing in Brazil.
Planta Feliz’s owners, Marina Sierra Camargo and Adriano Sgarbi, are pioneers in the city. They live in a unique rural area of Sao Paulo, adjacent to the Atlantic forest, where they have preserved part of their property as untouched forest. Planta Feliz collects food waste from residences, schools, small restaurants and cafeterias. Food waste collection is done door to door or at established collection points. Open windrows and vermicomposting are used to process the feedstocks. The site currently is permitted to process 0.5 tons/day of food waste. Due to available land area and interest from local businesses and residents, Camargo and Sgarbi are applying for a permit to compost 10 tons/day. Compost is sold under the Planta Feliz brand. Participating residents receive a limited quantity for free every month as a way to reward them for composting, and incentivize them to continue. Tours of their facility and forest, are offered; the site also hosts a community garden. Learn more at Planta Feliz’s website.
—Ana Carvalho, BioCycle Contributing Editor