Proposal for the integration of decentralised composting of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste into the waste management system of Cuba.Waste Manag. 2008; 28(1):64-72.WM
Municipal solid waste (MSW) generation and management in Cuba was studied with a view to integrating composting of the organic fractions of MSW into the system. Composting is already included as part of the environmental strategy of the country as an appropriate waste management solution. However, no programme for area-wide implementation yet exists. The evaluation of studies carried out by some Cuban and international organisations showed that organic matter comprises approximately 60-70% of the MSW, with households being the main source. If all organic waste fractions were considered, the theoretical amount of organic waste produced would be approximately 1 Mio. Mg/a, leading to the production of approximately 0.5 Mio. Mg/a of compost. Composting could, therefore, be a suitable solution for treating the organic waste fractions of the MSW. Composting would best be carried out in decentralised systems, since transportation is a problem in Cuba. Furthermore, low technology and low budget composting options should be considered due to the problematic local economic situation. The location for such decentralised composting units would optimally be located at urban agricultural farms, which can be found all over Cuba. These farms are a unique model for sustainable farming in the world, and have a high demand for organic fertiliser. In this paper, options for the collection and impurity-separation in urban areas are discussed, and a stepwise introduction of source-separation, starting with hotel and restaurant waste, is suggested. For rural areas, the implementation of home composting is recommended.