Perceptions and Attitudes Regarding Organic Waste: Feasibility of Establishing an Urban Composting Program in Chiapas, Mexico
Keywords:Compost, Domestic Waste, Environmental Education, Local Knowledge, Urban Agriculture, Vermiculture, Mexico
AbstractThe poor management of household and municipal waste is a threat to the sustainability of urban communities throughout the world, and also constitutes a missed opportunity for community and economic development. Additionally, many innovations in household solid waste management are never adopted because they do not take into account existing local knowledge, preferences, behaviors, and management practices. In order to contribute to solving solid waste problems in small multicultural cities in Latin America, we conducted an interdisciplinary study that (1) documents current practices for managing organic waste; (2) identifies citizens' willingness to compost household refuse and farmers' willingness to use this compost; and (3) analyzes whether composting municipal results in compost of adequate quality. We also identify innovative urban practices for organic waste management. Compost obtained during the study fulfilled minimum requirements for nutrients in compost according to international standards, despite the fact that no consistent composting methods were followed. The results indicates that household or neighborhood composting could contribute to solving urban organic waste problems as well as the lack of organic fertilizer available for agriculture in urban and peri-urban areas. While distributing compost could be a challenge, it also provides an opportunity to strengthen links between farmers and consumers.
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