News - Jun 28, 2023 Compost Training undertaken in RMI
Six staff at the Majuro Atoll Waste Company have the capacity to undertake effective organics processing and operate the Laura Organics Facility as a result of a week-long hands-on training 3-7 April.
Organic materials in the Republic of Marshal Islands (RMI) mainly comprise materials from yards and community clean-up events, such as coconut fronds, branch and hedge clippings, and cardboard. There is very little food organics and fish and copra processing by-product is available as requested. The Laura Organics Facility is an inside 6-Bay Compost Facility with each bay approximately 2.5x3m in size.
The composting training was classroom-based for one morning – learning fundamentals of compost such as the Carbon and Nitrogen ratio, and the importance of “Air, Water, & Food” – and then hands-on for the remainder of the week. Through the training, participants started two compost batches, experimenting with different ratios of input materials and assessing their progress by measuring the “Air, Water, & Food”. Participants also shredded materials, turned bays, and added the correct amount of water.
“A key outcome for us was learning that with our main organics ingredients being the coconut, and branch and hedge clippings, this contains already the carbon and nitrogen materials and so we do not need to source other nitrogen materials to make good compost,” says Ms Jacqueline Lakmis of the Majuro Atoll Waste Company. “With the correct moisture, in just one night this material heated up on its own – starting the composting process.”
The training was facilitated by Chris Purchas of Tonkin & Taylor International Ltd in partnership with the PacWastePlus Technical Officer.
“We are excited to run our compost facility effectively”, adds Ms Lakmis “organic materials are a large portion of waste to landfill and is what causes the smells. But by diverting that material here we can create something valuable for our communities to enhance their soil for growing more food”.