Municipal Organic Waste Composting as Management Option for Urban Agriculture

The ever-increasing population in the metropolis of Accra, Ghana resulting in con-cerns for finding lasting solutions to manage large volumes of waste produced can be tackled through composting for urban agriculture.

With insanitary land filling serving as the major disposal option in the metropolis, plans to build the first ever sanitary landfill facility in the metropolis calls for measures to be taken in order to prolong the lifespan of the facility. This therefore necessitates the need to look into an alternative means of diverting organic waste from landfills.

The objective of this research is to re-view the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) management situations in Accra Metropolitan Assembly upon which an investigation is made into the various process steps involved in aerobic windrow composting and also finding out the possibility for integrating composting with urban agriculture.

The study relied mainly on secondary data obtained from books, published articles, governmental documents, internet, and master thesis reports on related topics. By the help of a causal loop diagram, the interdependence of various policy actions and sys-tem elements in the waste management process are linked to illustrate the possibility of a composting programme for urban agriculture.

Even though the metropolis for some time back has been operating a centralized composting facility, the facility is confirmed to be closed down due to problems ema-nating from financial inadequacy, power failure and mechanical breakdown.

The study delve into the process steps in windrow composting and finally identified potentials for composting in the metropolis but however enumerated constraints ranging from human and environmental health, financial, institutional, policy directives, to public and leadership attitudes as stumbling blocks to the implementation of a centralized composting scheme.

It finally concluded that the metropolis has the potentials to embark on composting for urban agriculture however, until measures are taken to overcome these constraints, implementing a centralized composting scheme in the metropolis may not be a sustainable option. It is further recommended that whiles the city authorities continue to tackle the constraints to pave way for the implementation of the program, efforts must be made in promoting small scale composting that rely on manually operated tools to help reduce organic waste loads in the municipal waste stream.
Source: KTH
Author: Hormenu, Michael Commander

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