Innovations in waste processing, infrastructure and logistics

Namoona Sustainable Waste Management Model

The Namoona Sustainable Waste Management Model focuses on island-level solutions, such as a reduction in single-use plastics and the proper segregation and sorting of waste. The model helps to simplify planning and decision-making for island councils and donors when it comes to supporting waste management activities. It is a guide to what to focus on first, further supported by the Level of Sustainability framework. < add link from resources

The five steps are:

Home Composting 

Food waste represents approximately 41% of all waste by weight on islands in the Maldives. It is perhaps the most challenging waste stream to deal with, as it is expected to be removed from the house every day, and in the hot tropical climate of the Maldives it cannot be stored elsewhere without rotting.

Dumping in the ocean is the most common disposal method for food waste in the Maldives. While in the past, when all waste was organic, the environmental impact would have been low, now however food waste is routinely contaminated with thin plastics and other non-biodegradable items. Lagoons and the oceans within atolls are now inundated with a daily flow of plastics because of these practices.

Soneva Namoona is trialling the Takakura Home Composting (THC) method is showing very promising results. It is an aerobic process and relies on maintaining suitable oxygen levels to keep the microbes active. As a result, food waste is quickly transformed into a soil-looking material in just a few days.

For the home user, the THC method is very simple, it only requires the food waste to be cut up into small pieces (to accelerate the decomposition) and mixed into the seed compost once a day. It is the simplicity of the THC method, combined with the lack of smell and rapid composting, which is responsible for the high success rate of the trials.

Link to docs in the Resources section on home composting –  final reports, data studies, etc.

Creating souvenirs from waste resources

Upcycling and reselling second-hand clothes

Eco Centros

Waste, especially plastic, is a significant challenge for Maldivian island communities. Due to insufficient waste management facilities and collection, waste is burned in open bonfires, posing a threat to the environment and human health.

The first step for participating Namoona islands is an evaluation of their waste management centre and carrying out any necessary upgrades for effective waste segregation, compacting, and baling. Some flagship Namoona islands have upgraded to Eco Centros, state-of-the-art sustainable waste management centers that are modelled on the Soneva resort practice of recycling 90 per cent of food and organic waste, metal, plastic and bottles. Each Namoona island with an eco-centre has officially stopped the open burning of waste.

[Is this factually correct?]

Waste to Wealth

Waste is defined as items that have been used, items that are thrown away, and items that rot and decay; however, one person’s waste can be another person’s resource, and currently we are wasting many resources. Adopting a ‘waste to wealth’ mentality reduces the volume of waste on an island and fosters opportunities for innovation and employment.

Examples of waste to wealth activities on Namoona islands include:

Producing cocopeat and coco-fibre from m coconut husks

Repairing and recycling e-waste

Creating souvenirs from waste resources

Upcycling and reselling second-hand clothes

Recyclables Collections 

In December 2021, Soneva Namoona achieved a Maldives’ first: the seven Namoona islands in the Baa Atoll commissioned a recyclable waste collection boat to collect 50 tonnes of segregated, compacted and baled recyclable waste and transport it overseas for recycling.

Maalhos, Dharavandhoo, Dhonfanu, Kihaadhoo, Kamadhoo, Kudarikilu, and Kendhoo commissioned a recyclable waste collection boat, which will regularly collect recyclable waste from the islands. The boat collected segregated, compacted, and baled recyclable waste from all seven islands for the first time in the Maldives, consisting of aluminium, other metals, cardboard, tetra-paks (beverage cartons), and plastics, all of which was sent abroad for recycling.

Update with more current activities and data.

Add Woodchipper trial agreement and learnings to the Resources section.

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