Using our food waste as a resource to restore our soils
On Saturday, 05 June 2021 it is World Environment Day, dedicated to mobilising global action to address pressing environmental issues. The theme for 2021 is ‘Ecosystems Restoration’, calling for urgent action to revive our damaged ecosystems. BiobiN South Africa is using this opportunity to look at our agricultural sector to see how we can mitigate the adverse environmental impacts of commercial farming and soil erosion.
“South Africa’s subsistence and commercial agricultural sectors demand a lot of our country’s fertile soil. Frequently rotating crops and the use of excessive amounts of fertiliser and pesticides will result in the degradation and erosion of our soils,” says Brian Kusel, director at BiobiN South Africa. “The industry has also seen that the use of fertiliser and pesticides can cause agricultural runoff resulting in algae blooms in nearby water bodies.”
As South Africa is very reliant on its agricultural sector, it is important that the sector applies sustainable agricultural practices that conserves soil health and manages organic waste in a way that prevents the degradation of ecosystems “The health of our soils, largely determine the health of the rest of the ecosystems. This makes it incredibly important to focus our efforts on restoring soil health so that the rest of the ecosystem benefits.”
While food waste presents a big environmental challenge when disposed of in landfill, this waste stream can be used as a valuable resource when it is composted. “BiobiN has successfully worked with the agricultural sector, corporates, and the retail sector to curtail the environmental impacts of food waste, and to turn this waste into rich organic compost,” says Kusel. “By composting food waste, you are creating a means, a resource that is able to help restore eroded soils, when used correctly.”
“For World Environment Day this year we are telling businesses at large to take accountability over their organic waste footprint,” says Küsel. “Understand that food waste can be a part of a ‘circular economy’; when composted it recycles carbon and other valuable nutrients that re-enter the soil. The use of organic compost is better than the use of artificial fertilizer.”
Large-scale commercial composting units are quickly becoming adopted as an alternative waste treatment (AWT) technology for the organic waste stream. With government putting pressure on different sectors to divert organic waste from landfill, AWT-like composting units, such as the BiobiN is the better waste management option.
Having a BiobiN is a great method to process food waste on-site, without unwanted odours, with the end product being high-grade organic compost. To find out more about this innovative way to deal with your company’s food waste, visit www.biobin.co.za