Transforming Food Waste into Food Production

About Solution

Ecope is a social start-up that aims to contribute to the sustainability of Jordan’s environment and the quality of life of its underprivileged communities.

Ecope is currently working on a composting project to utilise food waste in refugee camps and rural communities to enhance livelihoods, by transforming the organic matter into compost that can be used for small-scale farming and agriculture, while engaging members of the target communities in cash-for-work volunteerism. 

Turning food into compost usually takes up to a year for completion. Ecope's solution for a compost bin is designed to run on renewable solar and muscle energy that operates an internal churning mechanism to cut down months of the composting process. The design solution is flat-packed and assembled tool-free on-site by the user.

Through implementing this project in refugee camps and rural communities, Ecope aims to address four main challenges: 

1- Insufficient food supply that is heavily dependant on the UNHCR and the Government of Jordan in the case of refugee camps, such as Zaatari Camp, and poor access to resources such as water in rural communities: Ecope's project aims to provide a sustainable food scheme by championing a cradle to cradle approach to managing food waste.The compost's ability to improve soil's water retention reduces the need for irrigation and water consumption. The design solution's innovative competitive advantage of reducing the time required for completion of the composting process yields quick results to encourage urban agriculture within rural communities and refugee camps.

2- Poor waste management schemes and limited landfill capacity: recycling the major source of waste in Jordan (organic waste) contributes to sustainable food waste management and reduced landfill waste.

3- Rising unemployment rates and poverty: by providing a source of income for refugee and underprivileged rural communities through  a cash-for-work modality and sales of produce respectively.

4- Poor psychosocial wellbeing due to a lack of a sense of belonging, identity and purpose experienced by refugees and underprivileged rural community members: utilising green innovation to improve psychosocial wellbeing through ensuring food security, and restoring a sense of identity and purpose. 

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