The first hospital in La Paz that manages organic waste

Green cities
On 24th August, the Hospital de Clínicas de La Paz received two compost bins containing micro-organisms that speed up the composting process. The biofertilised soil produced by the composters will be used for the hospital's gardens.

The bins will be used to manage organic waste generated by the hospital's kitchen. The initiative is implemented by Swisscontact within the Zero Waste project financed by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida). It has the support of the local city government, the municipality of La Paz and the Departmental Health Service (Sedes).

The compost bins of the company Ecofractal hold 700 litres and will transform kitchen waste (including citrus fruits, processed food and eggshells) into biofertilised soil by means of micro-organism accelerators. This technique will generate biofertiliser to be harvested in just one month. Also, the creation of harmful CO2 and leachates – contaminated water – will be avoided since, thanks to this process, the food remains do not rot, nor do they generate bad smells. Therefore, this system does not cause the presence of potential carriers of disease such as flies or mice.

"One of the positives of this new composting process is that our gardens will look much more beautiful but, above all, our patients will be able to enjoy the therapeutic effects of the garden."
Luis Sánchez Morón, coordinator of the Departmental Health Service of La Paz

The Hospital de Clínicas has a waste treatment plant that transforms pathogenic waste which could cause diseases into normal waste. In this way, the waste treatment initiative contributes to improving the integrated waste management in this hospital, says Marco Martínez, Director of prevention and Environmental Control of the municipal secretary of Environmental Management and Renewable Energies.

"These compost bins are a pilot project which contributes to the development of integrated waste management models that can be scaled up to other hospitals in the city and to more municipalities in the country."
Rocío Maldonado, Advisor to Swisscontact's Zero Waste project

The municipality of La Paz is currently working on training in composting, vegetable gardens, and in schools. In the latter training, kids learn to separate organic and inorganic solid waste through the educational programmes "Sustainable Schools" and "Barrios de Verdad de Mil Colores".

It is estimates that the compost bins will produce around 230 kilograms of biofertiliser every month:

"We are talking about around 250 kg of organic waste per month that will not go to landfill and will instead be processed into compost."
Pablo Mansilla, representative of Ecofractal, a company that manufactures compost bins

The Zero Waste Project is financed by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) and implemented by Swisscontact in Bolivia.

Green cities
Zero Waste Project
The project seeks to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases in the waste sub-sector and the preservation of ecosystems through the promotion of management models with a circular economy approach. It will boost the dissemination of circular solid waste management models, formulating public initiatives at local and national level, as well as private initiatives.