In most Mexican and Latin-American cities, there is no public organic waste management to be found. Enter Hagamos Composta: one of What Design Can Do’s 16 No Waste Challenge winners.
This waste-busting project aims to reduce the amount of garbage accumulated in cities through an organic waste pick-up service. The waste is then transformed into compost and re-incorporated into the soil. Good waste management and pollution reduction are what this project is built on. Hagamos Composta provides a sustainable solution for those looking to be more responsible with their waste but don’t have the knowledge, tools, or time, to do so.
Mexican founder, Gerardo Montes De Oca Sierra started the project in 2018 with the values of friendship, trust, community, sustainability, and justice. He believes Hagamos Composta is for people and the planet: “All the organic waste is transformed into compost, which is given back to the people that are part of it!”
Every week, he and his team collect organic waste in reusable buckets from local homes and businesses. The waste is then transported to fields where it is composted. There, they have hot compost piles where the organic waste is transformed into compost in approximately four to six months. Once the compost is ready, they give it back to the participants, so that they can use it as a natural fertilizer.
When it comes to buy-in from the locals on this project, De Oca Sierra did not expect the positive response he received. “It has been surprising to realise that so many people want to join the project and so many people understand the urgency of being more sustainable,” he states.
He feels that the misconceptions about composting are that it is difficult to do, and that not all organic waste is compostable. For those looking to compost at home, De Oca Sierra’s top tip is to really understand the importance of composting. “Understand all the ecological and social benefits of doing it. Once you have really understood that, everything else is easy.”
De Oca Sierra sees Hagamos Composta as a means for “people [to] have a chance to be responsible with their organic waste, reduce garbage, reduce greenhouse emissions, and create a more just and sustainable society.” His near-future goals for the project are “to be a tool for the people that want to become more sustainable in the cities and being able to spread the message and the urgency of sustainability.”