Terra Nova

Terra Nova, Beira, Mocambique

Beira, Mozambique. February 7th – 9th, 2010

Terra Nova is a unique social business, set up by a young French woman, producing compost by recycling urban market waste in Beira, Mocambique.

We help building a shelter for the local workers at the project site, and translating for their website.

Name Terra Nova Lda composting urban waste, Beira, Mocambique
Aim Composting up to 60% of Beira’s urban waste using a socially responsible and economically sustainable business model.
Since February 2009
Staff One owner, one associate and 6 workers
People reached The garbage dump is in the poorest part of the city Munhava Matope (mud). Many of the people there live from the dump, collecting bottles, plastics, or food.
Beira has about 500,000 inhabitants. 
Contact Flore Roura
Donation 3,000 Meticais + 100 USD (202 USD)

We visit Terra Nova in the morning and get a good overview of its activities. The small company is working on a designated part of the city’s carbage dump. Next to a smelly pile of residu waste (cans, plastics) we count 27 neat mounds of compost, weight about a ton each. The shape of them resembles a rounded termite heap, and they give an artistic touch to the scene.

Flore Roura explains to us the process of composting. She and her workers start with sorting out the uncompostible waste, then heaping up the rest together with water and carbon rich material to balance the resulting compost. Although there are a lot of studies available on the subject, a lot depends on experiment. We walk around the measure the temperature of each mound. Some of them have reached 80 degrees centigrade – a staggering number that somehow underlines the power of composting.

Currently, the company can handle one truck of urban waste per day. Terra Nova has already done this for about a year and produced 50 tons of good compost. The next step is upscaling to 30 trucks a day and hundreds of workers. This will also bring out the social aspect: apart from offering good working conditions, the company will support many workers with their education. Flore explains that it is the explicit objective of Terra Nova to optimize its social impact by thinking and acting far beyond the actual business of composting.

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