Environment Systems and Decisions

, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 483–489 | Cite as

Making a case for recycling biodegradable municipal waste

  • Manfred FehrEmail author
  • Cyntia Andrade Arantes


The city subject of this research does not have any reverse logistics scheme for biodegradable waste. It goes to the landfill because recycling is considered impracticable for technical and economic reasons. The objective of this study was to refute the objections raised against biodegradable municipal waste recycling. Of the 600 tonnes of waste collected daily, 308 tonnes are biodegradable material originating from residences, merchants and shopping centers. To refute the economic objections, the study presents calculations based on compost prices and tipping fees that show a possible revenue of BRL 0.39 per kg of biodegradable waste collected and composted. This compares favorably with cardboard, paper, steel and plastics, which are recycled by market forces alone. The study identifies composting enterprises interested in receiving biodegradable municipal waste. To refute the technical objections, the research produced precedents of biodegradable discards recycling in apartment buildings and restaurants replicable at larger scales.


Biodegradable municipal waste Economics of composting Fruit and vegetable supply chain Municipal waste in Brazil Recycling economics for bio-waste Residential discards Reverse logistics for bio-waste 



The Brazilian Research Council CNPq supported this research through Grant No. 300672/2010—1 PQ.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of GeographyFederal University at UberlândiaUberlândiaBrazil

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