Composting has become an increasingly used practice to recycle the organic waste we produce. In San Miguel, there is an initiative that is having many followers: SMA Compost. Exclusively, the Attention team spoke with the director of this project, Daniela del Villar.
1.- Tell us about your SMA Compost project:
Composta SMA is a non-profit project whose purpose is to prevent organic waste from reaching the municipal dump where it causes serious pollution problems. Instead, we channel them to treat it properly and turn it into an amazing fertilizer to improve soil health and help curb climate change.
Anyone who lives in San Miguel de Allende can sign up for the program. Once registered, you will receive a container or the ones you need to put your waste, and once a week our mobile composter will come to your house to collect them, exchanging your used container for a clean one. After a month you will begin to receive ready-to-use compost. To sign up, just visit our site, CompostaSMA.com, and click the yellow button. Registration costs $500 pesos and collections $90.
2.- What are the benefits of making compost?
When we compost our organic waste, we create “gold.” Compost is a valuable material for the soil and our survival as a species depends largely on the health of the soil. Having a healthy soil full of microorganisms helps us to have healthy ecosystems, flora, and crops that are more resistant to diseases and pests. Compost increases moisture retention by up to 40%, preventing erosion and desertification of the landscape, by retaining water it helps filtration and recharging aquifers. It also helps plants capture carbon from the atmosphere, lowering the temperature of the planet.
Compost can be used in gardens, orchards, community orchards, parks, farms, and for the regeneration of ecosystems in decline, as the International Regeneration organization does.
We believe that while it is important to compost, the most important thing is to keep our waste from going to the landfill. Each person according to their possibilities can make compost, at home, with their community, or with us.
Natural cycles harbor wisdom so that each process is beneficial to another process. Humans are the only animals that do not live a 100% waste-free life. We call this phenomenon ‘garbage’, but the most absurd thing about it is that garbage doesn’t really exist. 95% of the waste we generate can be avoided or recycled, the only thing that is needed is to do it. The moment where the future is decided is when we have the waste in our hands and decide where to put it: “it is only rubbish if it is a mess”. Well, there is actually a more powerful time to decide the future, the time to buy something. Every peso we spend is a vote we make and that is shaping the future of all. Garbage is already garbage before we buy it.
3.- Tips to start a Compost at home:
The easiest way to make compost is to subscribe to the CompostaSMA program so you don’t struggle at all because we do it for you. To all those enthusiasts who want to start composting at home, we cheer you on.
The type of method to choose will depend on the amount of space you have at home, the amount of time you want to dedicate to it, and the quality of compost you want. As a general rule, the important thing is to have 30% dry matter, such as sawdust or stubble, and the rest moist material such as yard trimmings, food, etc. Take care that it is neither too dry nor too wet and turn it over so that it can breathe, the first fifteen days each week and then every two weeks.
Compost can also be left alone and is done although it takes longer and is of inferior quality. If you have space at home, you can have a compost bin in an open area. If instead you want an excellent quality of compost and you have patience, the best thing is a vermicomposter, we would love to see vermicomposters under every sink in every house throughout the country. Come to us to attend one of our workshops. Also, if your neighbors want to have a community composter, we can gladly do it, the requirement is that each person commits to working it for one hour a week, that there are more than 20 people and that they have an available plot of land (which can be a waste).