Sofia – the capital of Bulgaria – is hosting a project in one of its open-air markets to start recycling food waste into compost. The project – called ‘City Compost for Sustainable Agriculture’ – is a joint initiative between the market, an agricultural company called Tera Life Solutions, and the University of Forestry in Sofia. The market – called Zhenski Pazar (the Women’s Market) – was established in 1878, making it the oldest open-air market in the city.
‘City Compost for Sustainable Agriculture’ was financed by two funds for green innovation – ClimAccelerator Black Sea, organized by Innovation Starter Accelerator, and the program for ‘Women Participation in the Production of Agricultural Foods’.
The project aims to create the optimal compost possible that can be produced from urban food and green waste. It is estimated that between 500 and 1,000 liters of bio-waste is generated at the market each month. This bio-waste will be shipped to a testing site owned by the University of Forestry located on the outskirts of the city. There, different compositions and ratios of bio-waste will be tested. The compost created by the project will later be used by small and medium-sized agricultural producers to boost the production of food, as well as supporting a more circular approach to both agriculture and urban waste. The project was officially launched at the end of February and it will run until the spring of 2023.
Zhenski Pazar has a history of working towards a zero-waste policy and utilizing the market’s full potential. It started implementing similar initiatives in 2018 with the first containers for recycling clothes in the city of Sofia.