17 April 2019 | 3 minutes.

Sustainable bio-waste management in Lebanon

Marc Aoun
Co-founder of Compost Baladi
Antoine Abou-Moussa
Co-founder of Compost Baladi

Marc Aoun, Co-founder of Compost Baladi

Antoine Abou-Moussa, Co-founder of Compost Baladi

The Lebanese company Compost Baladi is leading the way in replicating small-scale composting processes in the Middle East, addressing what is a daunting global issue. 

What are some of your favorite projects so far?

Our work with municipalities is particularly special for us because it aligns with our mission as an enterprise. We know that working with local authorities has the potential to have sustainable impacts on the local community, because the projects are done with and for the community. Some of our favorite projects with municipalities include the Zero Waste Antoura program, the compost monitoring work with Manara that enabled the municipality to start producing bagged compost from source-separated organic waste, and the work we did with the 15,000 households of Minieh and the local municipality where we went door-to-door to raise awareness and deliver the basic tools to start sorting organic waste at home.

We also focus on working with academic institutions. We really like our work with schools and universities because we are having impact on the culture and education of future generations that are getting exposed to good practices in waste management at an early stage of their lives. One of our favorite academic projects is the first national on-campus composting site that we designed and installed in the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, it now is an essential component of the Zero Waste program of the university.

Are your operations specific to Lebanon and the Middle East?

We started our enterprise as a response to a local need in Lebanon. But as we grow, we are noticing that many countries in the Middle East and the world share the same needs as Lebanon for sustainable bio-waste management. So, we are planning to expand to new markets in the near future.

What else are you working on?

Other than composting systems and solid waste management services, our enterprise is working on liquid waste management. Our approach is to provide households and communities with on-site solutions to treat and recycle their wastewater as well as solid organic waste. We developed a device, called CubeX, that could be installed in the vicinity of a dwelling and could treat all bio-wastes and recover cooking gas, irrigation water and compost. We are upgrading the design of the CubeX to become a kit that is easy to construct and deconstruct, always taking into consideration socio-economic conditions of ultimate users.

Many countries in the Middle East and the world share the same needs as Lebanon for sustainable bio-waste management.

How big is the potential for clean energy & water across the MENA?

Water scarcity is a major problem all over the MENA region. With all the technical advancements in science and technology, there is a big potential to develop solutions to recover process water effectively in order to enhance food and water security of communities, especially in rural areas.

How do you see a water & energy community emerging around the Mediterranean?

We see a need to evolve towards a water and energy community based on knowledge exchange to the creation of task forces to implement innovative and scalable pilot projects.