Home Composting Project ‘Terra à Terra’ (Portugal)

13/09/2012 - In 2007, LIPOR, the authority responsible for the waste management of eight municipalities in the Porto region (Portugal), launched its Home Composting Project ‘Terra à Terra’. It aims to promote the reduction of organic waste in households, schools, institutions and companies in the area by distributing 10,000 composting bins. This way, up to 3,000 tonnes of bio-waste are estimated to be diverted from landfills and incineration per year.

Every inhabitant of the area who is over 18 years old and lives in a house with a garden or works in a school, institution or company with a garden, is entitled to receive a free compost bin. In return, interested individuals have to fill in a registration form and attend a free 3-hour composting course. LIPOR provides continuous assistance to the participants, either on the telephone or on site. Although usually only one compost bin is distributed per household, an additional bin may be provided in certain cases (large family or garden).

Subsidies in form of free compost bins (regular price: €40/each) allow citizens to participate and become active composters. Free compost trainings provide the necessary skills and knowledge.  In order to raise awareness for the issue, LIPOR has launched an informative website, organises events and distributes leaflets. Regular monitoring serves to evaluate the implementation of home composting. Stakeholders such as local authorities or businesses (garden shops, municipal companies,…) can be contacted by LIPOR to participate in promoting the project.

At the end of 2009, more than 2,500 composting bins had been distributed and 11 community composting sites were running. Each bin produces around 300 kg of compost per year.

Detailed information about this home composting scheme, as well as other case studies, can be found in the Miniwaste inventory of good practices.