“Food for the Earth” is a community based initiative for share composting on site
Organisation : Urban Cultor , Romania

“Food for the Earth” is a community based initiative for composting on site. It builds low carbon infrastructure and offers low carbon services as an integrated and innovative green economy and social approach. It creates spaces for social cohesion and transgenerational connections - adults, kids and elderly. It empowers local communities and promotes climate-friendly behavior and ways to live. Our main goal is to create, adapt, transfer knowledge and raise awareness among citizens and municipalities about soil’s health in urban and periurban areas. The targeted groups will be inspired, involved and influenced for climate friendly behavior. 

Agendas addressed
DecarbonisationBiodiversityGreenfield land and natural space
Climate changePublic spaceSocial inclusion and integration
Pathways followed
  • Ensure equal access to municipal services
  • Involve citizens through participatory implementation
  • Encourage local private and civic engagement
  • Capitalise on local economy and production
  • Create and close local value chains
composts bins

Romania, is a negative example in terms of waste management. 95% of municipal waste is landfilled and the composting rate is only 6%. Regulation No. 181/2020 for compostable waste should start on  2021. For many months Bucharest has been experiencing a waste management crisis ( In July 2021, "The City Hall and the six districts will be part of an inter-community development association (ADI) for waste management " [...] Mayor General Nicușor Dan is appointed President of the General Assembly of the ADI for integrated municipal waste management." The administrative part of this kind of action is often the most complicated.


In Action

We want to set up community-based urban compost areas in Bucharest. Composting is one of the solutions to the problems of bio-waste treatment in cities. Composting is a natural process of bio-waste management, which allows us to give it a second life by obtaining a quality soil for our next crops. By treating biowaste in situ, and therefore without carbon emissions linked to transport, it highlights the significant proportion of organic waste in our households and often results in a reduction in food waste for the people who participate in these actions. With this type of project, we also want to provide the user community with the accessories to make their compost properly, so we want to provide user bio buckets and tools to aerate the compost on a daily basis. Our plan is to build low-carbon infrastructure and provide services as part of a social approach and an innovative integrated green economy. These facilities provide well-designed and aesthetically pleasing community composting systems, where the community provides the raw materials and benefits from the final product. It creates spaces for social cohesion and cross-generational connections - adults, children and the elderly. It empowers local communities and encourages climate-friendly behaviour and lifestyles. We have identified the material and organisational needs for this type of project and we want to give the user community all the resources to keep the project going after the installation, through training and support. Each installation will be completely autonomous in the management and treatment of its bio-waste. We want to support citizens in the solutions available to them to reduce the weight of their waste. In the absence of access to a garden, shared composting is an innovative solution with appropriate know-how. Our wooden composters are made in Romania to limit the carbon footprint of the project and delivered to the site without unnecessary packaging, we recommend the construction of wooden composters, we want to limit the use of plastic as much as possible! 


Kitchen waste, table scraps and expired food products account for almost 30% of our waste. Most of this waste is incinerated (or buried). This process is very polluting. Compost adds organic matter to the soil: it is an excellent alternative to chemical fertilisers to nourish the soil and support an organic and sustainable farming model. It is also very useful for repotting plants (by mixing it with potting soil), for sowing or for feeding plants.  After each cycle of compost making, participants will get quality compost for their plantations or to use on site to create vegetable gardens around the compost areas to help improve urban green spaces. 5 to 6 tonnes of food waste are needed to produce 1 tonne of compost. An installation of 3 composters can process the organic waste of 30 to 50 households





We want to support citizens upstream on the solutions available to them to reduce the weight of their rubbish. The composting area will be accompanied by a number of explanatory panels on good practice in urban compost management. We communicate with the participants of this type of project via social networks, facebook groups and Whatsapp groups for follow-up. Our project is a rather "low-tech" project, however the treatment of urban bio-waste in Romania is totally innovative as it is almost non-existent to date! This type of project is very common in Europe, and particularly in France, in cities like Nantes, Rennes, Lyon or Paris. Many companies have been created in this field and many jobs have been created ( exemple : )

Challenges and lessons learned

We have already carried out this type of action in Bucharest in 2021. We know how to produce composters and we know the needs but also the pitfalls to avoid. For several months we have been struggling to obtain the consent of the local authorities and to fill the administrative vacuum of setting up this kind of structure in the public space. So far we have an agreement with the city hall of sector 2 and a letter of interest from the main mayor of Bucharest for this kind of project. 



ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
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