Organic Waste Valorization
Adding +MORE Sustainable Actions in Organic Waste Valorization
Climate change represents one of the most important environmental challenges of our era. It is crucial to take concrete measures that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change. In this context, the valorization of organic waste has emerged as an effective strategy to address this problem. By harnessing organic waste, we can reduce the amount of municipal solid waste sent to landfills, as well as the greenhouse gas emissions associated with its decomposition.
Since 2018, the valorization of organic waste through composting has become a comprehensive and cross-cutting line of work aligned with Citromax’s Environmental and Sustainability Policy. In 2021, the Environment and Sustainability department set out to exchange best practices and promote awareness initiatives to improve the management of organic solid waste treated at our composting plant, where we compost 100% of our organic waste generated during the lemon production process.
This month, on the occasion of World Environment Day, we organized a series of activities aimed at promoting links between company members and public and private organizations at the national and provincial levels, contributing to the valorization of organic waste in the citrus industry.
On June 26, 2023, The Second Conference on the Valorization of Organics as an instrument for Climate Change Mitigation took place, organized by Citromax in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of the Nation, and the Ministry of Production of the province of Tucumán. The main objective of this event was to promote the exchange of knowledge and experiences, as well as to identify improvement opportunities and challenges in the valorization of organic waste as a strategy to mitigate climate change.
During the conference, we had the presence of Mariana Paula Tognetti, Director of Environmental Quality and Recomposition of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of the Nation (MAyDS), as well as technical advisors from the National Program for the Valorization of Organics (PROVO) belonging to the MAyDS, such as Engineer Patricia Fernández Caña and Engineer Walter Ordinas. We also received Mr. Marcelo Lizarraga, Undersecretary of Environmental Protection of the Secretary of State for the Environment (SEMA) of the Ministry of Production of the province of Tucumán.
In a morning dedicated to the revalorization of organic waste, more than 150 people from the public and private sectors participated in the event. The presence of municipal authorities and public organizations interested in the cause was noteworthy, such as the Environmental Inspection Directorate of Tucumán, the Industrial Conversion Program of Tucumán, the Obispo Colombres Agroindustrial Experimental Station (EEAOC), the Rural Extension Agency of Monteros of the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA), IPACYM, and cooperatives from the area. Schools belonging to the Sustainable Institutions Program, private suppliers that provide services at our composting site, and colleagues from the citrus industry also attended.
During the conference, numerous studies and proposals to address the challenge of climate change were addressed, as well as opportunities for large-scale implementation of organic waste valorization. The presentations included the following topics:
- Introduction to the treatment of organic waste, presented by Patricia Fernández Caña, a Civil Engineer and Master in Environmental Engineering with more than two decades of work experience, including over 10 years of university-level teaching. She currently serves as a technical advisor for PROVO, belonging to the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of the Nation.
- Nature-based solutions for climate change mitigation. Circular economy of lemons, presented by Romina Rueda, a graduate in Environmental Management and in charge of the Organic Waste Plant at the Environmental and Technological Interpretation Center (CIAT) of the Municipality of Tafí Viejo.
- Organic waste generated in industrial processes, conducted by Francisco Orosco, a graduate in Biotechnology and Coordinator of Environment and Sustainability at Citromax. Francisco has 15 years of experience in controlling and monitoring the organization’s environmental management system, as well as coordinating waste management programs, achieving a significant reduction in waste generation and ensuring proper final disposal of waste generated throughout Citromax’s value chain.
After the talks, stands were set up by a wide variety of organizations and institutions that promote environmental sustainability, including the Directorate of Environmental Health of SIPROSA, the Secretary of State for the Environment, Breath2change, Aconquija National Park, AER INTA Monteros, IPACYM, the Ecological Point of Concepción, the Environmental and Technological Interpretation Center of Tafí Viejo, Primary School No. 14 in Amberes, the Proyungas Foundation, the Faculty of Engineering of UNSTA, and UTN.
As a gift and recognition to our guests, we handed out cell phone holders and desk organizers made by a local cooperative using discarded materials generated from our production process such as pallets, chains, and bearings. This was done to demonstrate the opportunities for revaluation and reuse of materials through our Circular and Social Economy Program.
We concluded the intensive conference with an “Active Break” led by the Directorate of Environmental Sanitation of the Ministry of Health of the province of Tucumán.
In addition, a video was produced that captured the highlights of the conference and fully documented the training session led by Engineer Walter Ordinas live from Citromax’s composting site, one of the largest in Argentina. We invite you to relive the event and listen to the talk at: https://youtu.be/-b0GgWKQIhE
On Wednesday, June 28, from Citromax’s offices located in Acheral, Tucumán, the international seminar “Experiences in Quality Standards and Use of Compost” was broadcast live. In this seminar, Argentina was represented by Citromax, along with speakers from other countries such as Chile, Venezuela, and Spain. During the seminar, the speakers shared their experiences regarding the quality and use of compost, moderated by Engineer Walter Ordinas, technical advisor for PROVO.
The webinar started with the topic “From industrial sludge to exceptional compost: Chemical and Biological Quality Parameters,” presented by Agricultural Engineer Salvador Luco from Zero Corp, Chile. Next, from Venezuela, Chemical Engineer María Carolina Pire Sierra presented “Composting in Venezuela: Experiences in the agro-industrial sector.” Argentina was represented by Citromax with the presentation “Nature-based solutions for climate change mitigation. Circular economy of lemons.” And finally, Dr. Ramón Plana González-Sierra, representing Spain, covered the topic “Composting: Transforming Waste into Resources for a Resilient Future.” The webinar, which was free and open to the public, is available at: https://www.youtube.com/live/L0o11fWkswg
The valorization of organics presents itself as a viable and effective solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, obtain economic benefits, and promote a circular economy model. Citromax has successfully achieved its goal of fostering spaces for strategic connection and interaction, environmental awareness, internalization of technical concepts, and institutional experiences among international, national, and provincial public and private actors aligned with the activities of organic waste valorization as an instrument for climate change mitigation.
Only through the adoption of concrete measures and the collaboration of all stakeholders involved can we adapt to mitigate climate change and build a more resilient world for future generations. Citromax will continue to promote sustainable actions in organic valorization and work towards a more sustainable future.
Author: Milagro Peralta
Editing: Estefanía Scuka
Date: June 28, 2023