Greetings from Ecotourism Kenya!
One of the main challenges faced by accommodation facilities is on organic waste management. There are several unique models adopted by various Eco-rated facilities. This weeks’ Eco-byte is focused on sensitizing members on the replicable organic waste management practices at facilities.
Organic waste is the most common type of waste produced by accommodation facilities and at the same time, a challenge to manage. Internationally, we all aim to abide by the general waste reduction hierarchy; reduce, reuse and recycle.
What’s next when you have to compost?
Ecotourism experts recommend the most replicable practice on organic waste management for hotels is by donating it to either local community as pig feed or compositing for manure.
Composting provides a mechanism for disposing off extra portions of waste in a way that can benefit the environment. In this article we specifically look at viable composting options where pig feeding is not an option. Below is a brief overview of the different composting methods; however, it is important to pick the most effective and appropriate model depending on the circumstances.
In this model, a metallic cover with lockable lids is placed on a pit. This model can be improved by installing a cage (illustrated above) to reinforce the metallic covering. This is crucial in wildlife areas to keep off scavengers notably monkeys. In addition, it would assist to avoid possible wildlife falls into the pit.
Option 2: Composting:
In this option, a cover is made using iron sheets for rain proofing purposes – the edges are enclosed by wire mesh to prevent scavengers notably monkeys and mongoose.
In this option, different permanent chambers (enclosed with a tight lockable lid) are constructed and used in alternate as they fill up. The dry compost is later removed and used as manure to the surrounding lawns or gardens.
This is open composting which is not viable for facilities located in wildlife prone zones due to scavenging. In this system, different pallets are constructed where bio-degradable waste is put for composting. Once composted, the waste is used as manure for kitchen gardens, lawns, flowers etc.
Do and Don’ts to follow
- Location: Ensure your compost is at least 60 meters away from a water body (river, borehole, spring etc.) This is to avoid possible leachate which might end up being a pollutant to the water body.
- Moisture: Composting stops in a too-dry pile. An active compost pile should feel like a damp sponge. Don’t leave your compost open, the pit should be preferably rainproof – that is, ensure water does not drain inside the hole. This can be achieved by making sure the metallic cover is tightly fixed.
- Odour: Wood ash can be used but in small amounts.
- Biodegradable matter: Do not mix organic with non-biodegradable matter. The pit should be strictly left for organic waste – biodegradables only.
Lastly ensure the compost section is well maintained, the pit or surroundings should be lockable and preferably the section allocated a specific person for monitoring purposes.
It is smart to be responsible