|Every composting unit generates major positive impacts in several areas:
Impact on the local environment: the proliferation of uncontrolled landfill sites is a scourge of urban development that is accentuated alongside the increase of population. Cities, which have only limited budgets available, can only collect a part of the waste and are rarely able to finance any controlled landfill operation. Uncontrolled refuse development creates a breeding ground for carriers of diseases (rats and mosquitoes) and they permanently pollute the soil, the watercourses and tap water. Urban drainage networks are blocked by plastic bags. With the composting of the organic portion of the waste and to the recycling of recoverable waste (in particular of plastics), the projects that are supported by Gevalor allow local authorities to reduce transportation costs resulting from the sending to landfill a reduced volume of waste. This improvement in waste management contributes to cleaning-up the urban environment and to offering populations a more pleasant and safe quality of life.
Impact on the global environment: composting, whilst providing for the aerobic decomposition of the organic proportion of household waste, prevents methane emissions. Furthermore, this process - provided that it remains mechanised only to a limited degree as in Gevalor’s projects - consumes very little energy and hence emits very little CO2. The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions resulting from this is a major importance: up to 150,000t CO2e over 10 years on projects supported by Gevalor.
Economic impact on local agriculture: soils are very often depleted in terms of quality by years of intensive exploitation without the restitution of organic substances. Compost brings back to the soil the organic substance necessary in order to hold the water and the nutritious elements, and to progressively return these to the plants. In particular it allows to limit the use of imported chemical fertilisers, whilst improving the earnings of farmers. A composting unit such as the one at Mahajanga produces around 6000t of compost per annum, which can fertilise up to 300 ha of land.
Social impacts: each of the composting units supported by Gevalor can create jobs for from 100 to 200 employees, particularly for poorer people, who previously earned a living from sorting the refuse on landfill sites. The conditions of employment offered in composting units include social security, vaccinations, medical care and of course a regular wage. The workers are often allowed to resell for their own benefit a part of the recoverable waste that is set-aside during the sorting process, and which provides them with an additional source of revenue.
Long-term impacts: The sale of the compost plus the sale of CER reductions in greenhouse gas effect emissions are the two long-term pillars of the composting units, which can reach their financial equilibrium on average within 4 years.