Barcelona Composting IES - Cody Frost - Haytham Awad - Patrick Farrell

1. Barcelona Composting IES — Cody Frost, Haytham Awad, Patrick Farrell

1.1. What

We have implemented a composting plan for Barcelona’s community. In this action plan, participants recycle their compost in order to stop contributing to waste in landfills and up-cycle biodegradable materials. This will contribute to the fight for sustainability by helping the disposal of waste.

For our action, we give our participants a box in which they can dispose of their compost in their home or on their terrace. They will provide the worms that help decompose the material, and then we will pick up the remaining material every two months.
We have contacted the squat house that we toured the other week, and have made an agreement to bring the waste to their site so that they can use the compost for their gardens. We have made a flyer that we have posted around IES in order to notify students of our action and give contact information for those interested.
At this point in our action, we are still collecting boxes from the dumpsters and trash piles every Tuesday when they are out for collection, and have distributed them to a number of students. We have also made a Facebook page for all IES students and sent out an email, encouraging people to participate. We have gotten a decent amount of feedback.

1.1.1. Similar actions form previous semesters

There have been attempts at having IES students compost before. The first involved one common compost box located on the terrace of IES where students would bring in their compost to IES and deposit it into the bin. The next project involved composting within IES apartments. The student provided websites and information on where to get a compost bin and how to use it once you got it.

From these previous actions we have learned that there it is very difficult to keep the action going throughout future semesters. While we are also faced with this problem, we are going to do our best to prevent the action from failing once it is passed on to future students.

1.1.2. SWOT Analysis

-Promoting sustainability
-Reducing waste
-Improving plant life

-Limited amount of time

-Help contribute to producing a healthy garden
-Lesser amounts of waste in landfills
-Educate people on how to compost

-Participants not contributing
-Smell (deter customers)
-Students not caring to participate

(see http://sustainability.seeds4c.org/dl27 )

1.1.3. Feedback loops

Compost bin-> nutrient increase in soil-> nutrient increase in vegetation-> healthier human consumption-> peoples production of waste-> peoples participation with composting

Compost bin-> decreased waste in landfills-> reduction in landfills-> reduction of energy consumption by landfills-> cleaner environment-> peoples participation with composting

Compost bin-> reduction of harmful and toxic waste-> increase in air quality-> improves human health-> peoples participation in composting

1.1.4. Advertising

To spread the word about our project we have created a Facebook page for IES students, as well as made flyers (attached) that we put up around IES. The flyer we created can be accessed here: Barcelona Composting.docx

1.2. Why this action makes things more sustainable?

Justification: Answer this question as clear as possible: "Why your action is improving the Sustainability of IES Abroad Barcelona?. Use as many concepts as possible from the ones you learned in this course. Like:

It is incorporated into our program because plant life will be rejuvenated when the nutrients in the soil are ingested by the plants, making them "bounce back" to life, and improving their overall status.

Change in Attitudes
Helping our participants realize that they are throwing a lot of useful waste away and polluting landfills. We will be able to get them used to recycling and inform them of the good that they are doing to the world.

Ecological Footprints
Our action is helping to reduce the footprints that we are leaving as a human race. This will help the world and its resources to last longer and gives us a good feeling about leaving future generations with a continuously living world.

"Cradle to cradle" Design (Waste = Food)
We are using the most literal form of waste = food in our action, by actually using waste as food for plants and worms.

1.2.1. Potential Benefits

Benefits include cutting down on the amount of waste being contributed to landfills. Upcycling waste that would have otherwise been thrown away and using it to nourish gardens and crops. Educating students on being more sustainable and how to compost so that they carry over good habits when they return home.

1.2.2. Potential Costs

Potential Costs include the cost of worms to decompose the materials. Another cost would be that of some finished top soil to get the compost pile started. another potential cost is the time of the user, it takes time to learn what can be put in the box and how it should be used. There is a specific mixture that needs to be followed in order for the waste to decompose in a decent amount of time. A potential risk is smell, but this can be combatted by purchasing a charcoal that abosrbs the smell.

1.3. How

We will implement our action by first making it known what exactly it is. We accomplished this by advertising via flyers as well as a Facebook page. Once students gain interest and contact us on Facebook about receiving a compost bin to start using at their apartment in Barcelona they will be able to pick up a box from IES. Once they receive the box there will be a workshop held the first few weeks of school explaining how to use the bin. The students will then begin to compost. A group of at least three students will contact the squat house or another location that will be able to benefit from the use of the compost the students create. The bins will be created using materials that people have put out on the street to be thrown away, some finished compost and worms will be added to the box by the user and they may begin composting. After two months the three student group will either go and collect all of the compost or have the students all bring their compost to IES. The compost will then be delivered to a location that would benefit from its use such as the squat house that we visited or the plants on the terrace at IES.

1.3.1. "Cradle to Cradle" design

We implemented the "Cradle to Cradle" design by using materials that residents of Barcelona have put out to the curb to be thrown away and making or using it as a compost bin. We then give that compost bin to students of IES that have apartments and cook for themselves, who throw in their compostable waste. That compost is used to give nourishment to gardens and crops at a squat house that uses the crops as food. The compost bins will be returned to IES to be used the next semester.

1.3.2. Questions for the unified survey

1. If there was a compost bin in your apartment would you consider using it?

2. How many times a week do you throw away compostable materials?

3. Would you mind the smell of decomposing material on your terrace?

1.3.3. Analysis of the results in the survey

Their are no results from the survey because their were technical difficults with acessing the surveys and having people respond to them.

1.3.4. Incentives

Along with the general incentive of feeling like a better person for helping to keep the world sustainable, we have decided that we would use the Eco-Euro system as an incentive for composting and following our action. Students could receive Eco-Euros after they donate their compost to IES. With the Eco-Euros the earned, they could exchange it for services or products with other various IES students who follow the Eco-Euro system, such as the bikes on the terrace, etc. A student will earn 10 Eco-Euros per pound of compost that they bring into IES for the terrace, or 15 per pound that they give to the squat house or another organization in Barcelona.

1.3.5. Relationship with the "Sustainability Club" (SC)

The Sustainability Club, if it were to get back up and running again, would serve as a place to post additional information about this action, such as where to get bins, worms, etc, as well as keep track of participants' Eco-Euros in a chart. The website will serve similar purposes as our Facebook page. Along with this, students will be able to get help from others if they are having trouble getting started or have any questions.

1.3.6. How will this action be sustained when you are not here?

Flyers will be up in IES to get peoples attention about composting and having teachers get involved to spread the word to their students. The Facebook page will continue to run while we are not here, people interested in composting can contact one another via Facebook. In order to receive a compost bin they can talk to either the group in the sustainability class that is interested in continuing the project to the front desk at IES. If this assignment is continued in the future it will be sustained and likely improved by the future students of this class. Perhaps in the future a compost bin can be put on the terrace for people to throw their food waste consumed at IES such as apple cores, banana peels, etc. which would also promote the action.

1.3.7. Who will do what

There are three of us in a group all of which will contribute to making compost boxes from materials that we will find on the streets on Barcelona. We will also continually check our Facebook page to see if any IES students have contacted us about receiving a compost box. We also need to stay in contact with someone from the squatter house to make sure that they know when we will be dropping off the compost and that they still want it. Multiple people will also be needed to help collect and deliver the compost, a staff member with a vehicle would be very helpfully so that we do not have to transport the compost via bus or metro.

1.3.8. Comparison to similar actions form previous semesters

In the spring 2011, a student created “Composting Barcelona,” found here: http://sustainability.seeds4c.org/Composting+Barcelona&structure=2011a+Spring+Actions
In her action plan, she had it all figured out, except for the problem of how she was going to implement it around IES. She said in her report that she only had a composting bin for her and her roommates in their apartment, and that they would give the bin to their neighbor for continued use after she left Barcelona. In this way she could only hope that her neighbor would continue her action. This is where she went wrong. Our program will be able to be sustained throughout the future years at IES Barcelona, assuming that future students will continue our action.

The student didn’t provide a lot of info about her results, mostly because it was just her, but much of the benefits of her action that she found we found as well for our action, since they are similar. Our feedback loops and SWOT analysis are based on the same concept, which is a good thing. Overall, our action is very different from hers, because of the different execution.

1.3.9. Document format

The document format we chose to use for our action is html, so that other students can improve upon our concept and make any changes they see fit.

We will use Creative Commons copyright licensing for our report. We chose this because people will be able to use the information that we have put together and improve it without having to go through the trouble of contacting us to receive permission.

1.4. Time-sheet / Chronogram


Barcelona Composting.docx

  • Terra Foundacion sells worms for the compost bins http://www.ecoterra.org/index.php?lang=en
  • http://www.compost-info-guide.com/beginner_guide.htm
  • http://www.nyc.gov/html/nycwasteless/html/compost/composting_nyc.shtml
  • whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/easywormbin.htm
  • The Rodale Book of Composting: Easy Methods for Every Gardener

Students from previous semesters had instructions on where to buy a compost bin, with our action that is not necessary but the worms that will aide in the breaking down of the materials will need to be purchased through Terra Foundacion. Soil to start the process will also be needed it may be available through IES it is not yet determined.

1.6. Annexes

  • http://sustainability.seeds4c.org/Composting+Barcelona&structure=2011a+Spring+Actions
  • http://sustainability.seeds4c.org/Composting&structure=2010a+Spring+Actions
  • http://sustainability.seeds4c.org/Action+Compost+Box&structure=2010a+Spring+Actions

1.7. Students involved in this action

We (Cody Frost, Haytham Awad, and Patrick Farrell) were able to participate equally throughout this action, and there was not one "official leader". We all worked on the action together through each step. We made the advertising together as well as picked up the materials for the composting. Each one of us also discussed the action with our various roommates and had them agree to participate. Getting the necessary materials and setting up the compost bin was done together as well.

Page last modified on Monday 03 of November, 2014 19:15:36