Reduce / Reuse / Recycle

October 12, 2012


Fertilizer from Kitchen Waste Helps to Grow Mineral-Rich Vegetables

Keywords: NGO / Citizen Reduce / Reuse / Recycle 

Copyright Nippon Food Recycling Network

Nippon Food Recycling Network, a Japanese nonprofit organization (NPO) founded in 2004, has been actively promoting the use of vegetables grown with fertilizer produced from food waste.

Recycling food waste into fertilizer involves the following steps: 1) food waste from staff restaurants at businesses is turned into compost using composters (dry or biological type); 2) the compost is then purchased by farmers who remove non-biodegradable contents and add the necessary ingredients to make it usable as fertilizer; and 3) vegetables grown with the food waste fertilizer by the farmers is then delivered to the ingredient suppliers for use in restaurants. On the return journey, new compost is loaded onto the trucks, making the system a closed loop. Organic fertilizers are known to grow vegetables rich in minerals, as well as sweeter water melons and vitamin C-rich vegetables.

The project is being run in five farming areas (Nasu in Tochigi Prefecture, Shounan in Kanagawa Prefecture, Omi in Shiga Prefecture, Hyogo Prefecture and Osaka Prefecture), with eight farmers and 40 nearby businesses. About 70 tons of food waste is being recycled as agricultural fertilizer annually. The NPO plans to expand such business-farmer networks for recycling food waste, together with recycling food waste from household kitchens.