Perceptions and Attitudes Regarding Organic Waste: Feasibility of Establishing an Urban Composting Program in Chiapas, Mexico

  • Jorge Camacho Barboza University of Padova
  • Helda Morales El Colegio de la Frontera Sur
  • Ricardo Alvarado Barrantes Escuela de Estadística Tercer Piso
  • Antonio Saldivar Moreno El Colegio de la Frontera Sur
  • Esperanza Huerta Lwanga El Colegio de la Frontera Sur
Keywords: Compost, Domestic Waste, Environmental Education, Local Knowledge, Urban Agriculture, Vermiculture, Mexico

Abstract

The poor management of household and municipal waste is a threat to the sustainability of urban communities throughout the world, and also constitutes a missed opportunity for community and economic development. Additionally, many innovations in household solid waste management are never adopted because they do not take into account existing local knowledge, preferences, behaviors, and management practices. In order to contribute to solving solid waste problems in small multicultural cities in Latin America, we conducted an interdisciplinary study that (1) documents current practices for managing organic waste; (2) identifies citizens' willingness to compost household refuse and farmers' willingness to use this compost; and (3) analyzes whether composting municipal results in compost of adequate quality. We also identify innovative urban practices for organic waste management. Compost obtained during the study fulfilled minimum requirements for nutrients in compost according to international standards, despite the fact that no consistent composting methods were followed. The results indicates that household or neighborhood composting could contribute to solving urban organic waste problems as well as the lack of organic fertilizer available for agriculture in urban and peri-urban areas. While distributing compost could be a challenge, it also provides an opportunity to strengthen links between farmers and consumers.

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Author Biographies

Jorge Camacho Barboza, University of Padova
c/o Agripolis, University of Padova, viale dell’Università, 16 - 35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy; (39) 345-0853089.
Helda Morales, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur
El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Carretera Panamericana y Periférico Sur s/n, Bo. María Auxiliadora, San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, CP29290; (52)-967-6779000.
Ricardo Alvarado Barrantes, Escuela de Estadística Tercer Piso
Escuela de Estadística Tercer Piso de la Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, UCR, San Pedro, San Jose, Costa Rica, CP2060; (506) 2267-6276.
Antonio Saldivar Moreno, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur
El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Carretera Panamericana y Periférico Sur s/n, Bo. María Auxiliadora, San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, CP29290; (52)-967-6779000.
Esperanza Huerta Lwanga, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur
El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Carretera Villahermosa/Reforma Km 15.5 Rancheria Guineo 2a. Sección, Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico, CP86280; (52)-(993)-3136110.
Published
2011-05-09
How to Cite
Barboza, J. C., Morales, H., Barrantes, R. A., Moreno, A. S., & Lwanga, E. H. (2011). Perceptions and Attitudes Regarding Organic Waste: Feasibility of Establishing an Urban Composting Program in Chiapas, Mexico. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 1(3), 115-131. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2011.013.006