Transforming trash into marketable compost
The city of Cairo produces a staggering two million tons of trash annually with half of it transported to a garbage collection district in Hay el Zabbaleen. Due to primitive disposal methods; however, this community had become overrun with garbage. While others simply saw problems, The French University in Egypt Enactus team saw a solution in turning the trash into compost.
Throughout Egypt there is a great demand for compost for agricultural use, but only limited supplies of high-priced, low-quality compost. The team’s first goal was find to the best, most efficient way to transform the growing mounds of waste at Hay el Zabbaleen into a marketable compost product. Next, they worked with the community garbage collectors to devise methods for garbage separation. Finally, they provided training on how to transform trash barrels into composting units and arranged for the allocation of land to implement the composting activities. In three short months more than 100 composting units were established.
All of the compost samples from this effort quickly sold and two contracts have been signed with suppliers to sell additional supplies of compost. Next year the project is scheduled to produce and sell 324 tons of compost. This new business is effectively controlling the waste accumulation, producing environmentally-friendly compost and providing economic opportunities for members of this community. Thanks to this effort, new jobs have been created and garbage collectors’ average monthly incomes have increased by 54 percent.