Article written by WasteAid / Bokashi Bran
Every time you throw organic waste in the garbage, it will most probably end up at a landfill. 90% of South Africa’s food waste ends up at landfill sites, where it attracts rats and flies and causes diseases.
Food waste is considered to be the third-largest cause of global warming.
In large cities, people don't have the space to create a compost heap for their organic waste.
Luckily, South African SMEs are creating innovative solutions to this challenge!
Bokashi Bran, one of the winners of the WasteAid Circular Economy Network Zero Waste Cities Challenge, is a bokashi manufacturer based in Gauteng, South Africa.
Bokashi is the secret to safely composting cooked food, meat products, and dairy. The beneficial microbes in bokashi eliminate pathogens, including e-Coli and Listeria Monocytogen. Bokashi also accelerates the composting process from eight months to eigh weeks.
Bokashi Bran® is the only South African manufacturer approved by EMRO® Japan, the original inventors of the product.
A WINNING INNOVATION
In April 2022, Bokashi Bran won the pitching competition of the Zero Waste Cities Challenge.
Their winning programme develops food waste entrepreneur training. This training teaches entrepreneurs how to collect food waste from their communities, process it into healthy, organic compost and then grow vegetables for their own community.
To test their approach, Bokashi Bran runs a pilot community project at Featherbrooke Residential Estate. Residents received a Bokashi Bran bucket, a container to gather their food scraps and a box of authentic Bokashi Bran. Food waste treated with bokashi can be left in the bucket for six months or more. Some residents who generate more than a bucket of food waste per month opted to get more buckets.
Once a month, the food waste from their bucket is emptied into the truck. Residents then rinse out their buckets and start the process again.
The food waste collected here is moved to a composting site close by where the training of the entrepreneur food waste and composting takes place.
As a reward, residents participating in the programme receive large bags of compost to go back into their gardens. It’s a simple system that can mean so much to the planet and divert food waste from landfills.
BENEFITS OF BOKASHI
Bokashi is the secret to safely composting cooked food, meat products, and dairy. The beneficial microbes in bokashi eliminate pathogens, including e-Coli and Listeria Monocytogen. Bokashi also accelerates the composting process from eight months to eighT weeks.
SAVING THE PLANET WHILE CREATING JOBS
Bokashi Bran's pilot project aims to improve economic sustainability and create jobs.
The project collects five tonnes of food waste per month and then processes it into compost. The food waste is mixed with garden waste and goes through an eight-week composting cycle. This generates ten cubes of highly valuable compost which can be sold.
Households pay for the collection service and bokashi, and the entrepreneur generates additional income by selling fresh produce.
There are 14.5 million households in South Africa, each generating about twenty kilograms of food waste per month.
This is a staggering 300,000 tonnes of food waste per month.
If entrepreneurs collected this food waste in batches of 5,000kgs, there is a job potential of 60 000 jobs, plus support jobs in composting, vegetable gardening and food waste collection.
This food waste entrepreneur programme shows enormous potential in a country suffering from severe unemployment, food insecurity, limited landfill space, and poor service delivery.
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