Latin America is one of the most urbanized regions in the world, with approximately 81% of the population living in cities. For many reasons, management of the organic waste stream from municipal solid waste in Latin America is almost non-existent except for some composting projects. Absence of separation of waste at source has been one of the main challenges in the region. In the city of Lima, solid waste in its majority is sent to landfills, and recycling is conducted in an informal way for the most valuable waste fractions. The situation is similar for the district of Independencia in Lima.
The anaerobic decomposition of organic waste generates methane. Organic waste is a substantial percentage of the municipal waste in developing countries. In the district of Independencia, about 54% of the waste is comprised of the organic fraction, and all waste is disposed of at the sanitary landfill "El Zapallal" located in the north of Lima city.
The treatment of organic waste is costly, and most options are not seen as profitable solutions for biowaste management. In many countries, organic waste is dumped in open dumps and rudimentary landfills. The practice of organic waste diversion is not common, which makes it necessary to demonstrate that diverting organic waste from landfills for its valorization is key to reducing methane from the waste sector.
The proof of economic viability (independent from subsidies) in this project will be a game changer for organic waste treatment in the region. Due to the high percentage of organic waste in MSW (>50%) in the region, the impact for the reduction of methane, a greenhouse gas, will be remarkably high. The development of these farms will take place in Latin American cities. The cities in the region have similar characteristics and waste management systems, which is why the proposed solution, to be developed for the district of Independencia in Lima, Peru, will be easily replicable in other cities of Latin America.