249789 Composting at the household level in Lebanon: A creative solution for solid waste management

Monday, October 31, 2011: 11:24 AM

Aline Germani, MPH , Faculty of Health Sciences, Outreach and Practice Unit, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
Aline Ghazar, MPH , Faculty of Health Sciences, Outreach and Practice Unit, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
This paper describes an intervention to solve a solid waste problem in a small agricultural village of 3,750 inhabitants in the South of Lebanon. The village lacks a waste dumpster, collection occurs only once every 4 days, and the number of existing disposal barrels is insufficient. Previous attempts to remedy these problems failed, heralding the need for a creative alternative. A household survey on perceptions and practices of solid waste management was conducted with 83 homes in the village and revealed that 81.5% were ready to sort organic wastes. The findings were discussed in a town meeting and the decision was made to train community members on composting techniques at the household level. Twenty-seven participants were trained; each received a barrel for composting placed in his/her backyard and a weighing scale. The primary outcome of the intervention will be volume of solid waste. A pre-post evaluation design was chosen. The participants weighed the waste for a period of two weeks before beginning the composing project. Currently the participants are in the process of composting and wastes are being weighed daily. If the results indicate that composting contributes to a significant reduction of solid waste, the participants will disseminate the concept and practice of composting to the larger community. Since 50% of the village land is cultivated, the compost will be used for agricultural purposes. This presentation will describe the needs assessment and the intervention, share results in terms of solid waste volume, and discuss implications for future policy and practice.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Environmental health sciences
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
By the end of this session, participants will be able to: Describe the benefits of composting in reduction of solid wastes Explain the specific problem that lead to composting being an appropriate solution in this community Describe the community participatory process used in this intervention. Discuss results of the intervention and its implications for solid waste management at a community level.

Keywords: Environmental Health, Intervention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the project manager for this intervention
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.