Kindred Composting Spirits: A Visit from Haiti
Kui Mungai is on Sanergy’s waste management team. She provides critical support in ensuring that we process waste efficiently and effectively. Recently, we received a visit from SOIL. In today’s blog post, Kui shares her thoughts on the visit:
In mid-May, Sanergy welcomed Sasha Kramer and Anthony Kilbride of SOIL to our field site in Mukuru. We thought we were crazy about human waste until we meet up with Sasha and Anthony – they adore waste! SOIL (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods) is an organization based in Haiti that converts human waste into useful resources. Their work has been highlighted by Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times and soon by National Geographic. They were started in 2006 and, as always, we love the opportunity to learn from those who have gone before us.
Sasha and Anthony observed our waste processing procedures and shared several insights from their own work. At present, they handle much more waste than we do. The sheer volume of waste that they get catalyzes the heating of the compost at a much faster pace. Following the visit, our team has begun to explore the possibility of larger composting vessels than our current solution.
Similarly, they use baggasse (sugarcane) in their co-composting while we use sawdust – which is readily available and helps reduce odor. Sugarcane husk is readily available in Kenya, too, and so now we’re also exploring that as a carbon source that could also expedite the process.
It wasn’t all one-way traffic. SOIL does not run as a business, and our model, which focuses on providing the best possible sanitation experience in order to generate demand and, in turn, remove more waste from the community, was an idea that Sasha and her team are now exploring to emulate.
Meeting Sasha and Anthony was such an amazing experience. What we learnt from them, no books could have ever taught us.