Waste management in a resource-based economy

There are various forms of waste that need to be managed on the campus, which can be divided into two broad categories; organic waste (human, animal, paper, agricultural etc.) and inorganic waste (plastic, metals, glass etc.). All of the clean organic wastes such as food scraps, paper, and agricultural waste are used for feeding the chickens, worms or making compost. Human waste will eventually be used for producing biogas. We try to limit the amount of inorganic waste as much as possible as it is more difficult to recycle or dispose of. During the initial development of infrastructure, our main waste stream is construction waste. We reuse and upcycle these materials as much as possible and are storing many materials as feed sources for technical materials. In our rural area of Peru there is no waste collection and little recycling. The locals mostly burn their rubbish or dispose of it in the river or jungle. Waste we cannot reuse needs to be transported to the nearest town for disposal (burning or landfill), which we resist as much as possible. Like everywhere in the world, the ubiquitous plastic bag and plastic packaging is the most common non-recyclable waste. We minimise waste production as much as possible and are investigating creative uses for the rest (see links below).   

Suggested links

·     Recycle plastic shopping bags (Youtube) 

·     Upcycling plastic bags (Youtube)

·       Inside an earthship (Youtube) 

·     "Garbage Warrior" All about earthships: documentary (Youtube)