During the afternoon we visited the Mallasa landfill in La Paz, we were invited here by Alberto Pati and Mario Gallardo. The landfill used to be a “dump” until 1994- the city of La Paz dumped 3,000,000 tons of garbage here in the span of 13 years. Now, a company called Tersa, with collaboration of the city of La Paz is piloting this project to serve as an example for waste management in all departments in Bolivia.
The project consists of organic waste management through:
– Waste water management
– Wormcomposting of organic matter
The objective of this project is to completely sanitize this area creating a Botanical Garden for people to visit. They are creating “good” organic matter and building a national park in what used to be the landfill, and a huge contamination area of the city of La Paz. They gather the organic matter from restaurants, stables, pig and dairy farms. They feed this organic matter to the worms. The worms are a hybrid of California worms and local worms, adapated to Bolivia and able to resist the harsh temperatures of the Altiplano.
They also have a greenhouse on site where they have been nursing plants to include in the park.
The park will be ready in 4 years and the goal is to demonstrate how to create good by not contaminating the environment and employing good waste management practices. Another objective of this project is to serve as a model for rural communities and other cities in Bolivia so that they will adopt these waste management practices. By separating waste, composting organic matter, and smartly using waste you can create more wealth in your soil.
Now, in Bolivia a kilo of wormcompost is $1.50 USD- and it costs $0.20 USD to produce. Imagine if these techniques of composting and waste management were common knowledge and adopted by many rural communities in the harsh areas we visited last week. It could make a world of a difference in their soils!