SIRCLES in Spain promotes compost during the International Compost Awareness Week


This article forms part of a series of publications under SIRCLES project to support circular economy opportunities for employment and social inclusion in our partner territories in Palestine, Lebanon, Spain, Tunisia, Italy, Greece, and Jordan.

Compost is key for Mediterranean soils, as they tend to be poor in organic matter, hence threatened by erosion and desertification. For this reason, SIRCLES partners in Catalonia (Spain) will be participating in the International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW), which will kick-off on 7th May and will last until the 13th. This year’s ICAW’s motto is “For Healthier Soil, Healthier Food… Compost!

SIRCLES provides job opportunities aimed at NEETs and women at risk of social exclusion by composting bio-waste delivered to the consortium’s facilities. Five new pilot areas have been built in Spain, Greece, Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia and 2 composting plants have been enhanced in Palestine and Italy. These initiatives have benefited more than a 110 people at risk of labour exclusion and have boosted separate waste collection in the areas where the project is underway.

Celebrating the ICAW in Catalonia, Spain

The Waste Agency of Catalonia (ARC) promotes and supports any activity organised in the Catalan territory within ICAW’s frame. For this reason, a webpage has been created, where compost-sensitization-related activities will be shared. Also, the ARC is organising two technical conferences to provide visibility to the different experiences and usages of the organic matter and will give out free compost to anybody who wishes to take it, just like last year. Additionally, a Compost Fair has been organised in Barcelona, an activity which is aimed for schools.

Images of last year’s ARC’s Compost Fair

On the other hand, Training and Labour Insertion Company (FiTEI), SIRCLES’ project partner in Catalonia, has organised a Let’s Clean Up Day on May 5th, an awareness campaign with the High School of Vila-seca, during which the students will clean the park where the Catalan Pilot Plant lays. Other students of the same high school will also visit the composting area in the near future, and learn how to compost and will get some of it for free so that they can use it in the school orchard.

On May 9th, FiTEI will organize an Open Day in their composting area, during which a guided tour around the facility will be offered inviting all citizens to learn how they transform the organic waste in an environmental resource.

The advantages of compost, reminded every year

The International Compost Awareness Week has its origins in North America, but it crossed the pond soon, and it is celebrated the first full week of May. Its goal is “to work together to raise public awareness on why we all should be composting our biowaste and using compost”.

According to the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives,GAIA, composting creates 4 more jobs than landfills and incinerators do, becoming not just a way to protect our planet and soils, but an exceptional way to boost our economies creating employment and reducing poverty.