Recycling Urban Organic Waste

Lead Organization:

Université Joseph Ki-Zerbo

Partner Organizations:

Agro2Eco project, Albert Schweitzer Ecological Center (CEAS), AEI-Burkina project, Ouagadougou City Hall waste management department, Institute of the Université Nazi Boni of BoboDioulasso, Association La Saisonnière, Koassanga Association, ACONAZ local waste processor associations

Community of Practice:

West Africa


Burkina Faso




Waste management is becoming more difficult in this consumeristic world. Ouagadougou’s waste increases exceed the management capacities of municipal services, causing economic costs of treatment, environmental and health costs of pollution, and ecological costs of nonrecycling. Two-thirds of this waste being organic matter, its recovery could partially compensate the metabolic breakdown, preserving the natural soil resource by improving its fertility. Recycling would reduce the environmental impact linked to this metabolic gap and reduce the nonrenewable resources consumed by agriculture. Job creation and biotechnological innovation should motivate socioeconomic actors to participate in the recycling initiative’s step toward industrial symbiosis.

An inception project analyzing the agroecological function of Ecosan toilets in the region since 2015 showed that some market gardeners remain reluctant to use Ecosan products versus chemical fertilizers. More than 70 percent of latrines built by subsidy are now abandoned in Ouagadougou while, in the surrounding villages, the populations are already in debt to build latrines. Under new Ecosan programs, construction and use of latrines could possibly take place in urban areas while agricultural reuse is carried out in rural areas.

Promoting nutrient recycling should be considered at the regional level and integrate Ouagadougou’s surrounding villages. A concerted management approach for organic residues considered a renewable natural resource should make it possible to find sustainable nutrient recycling as a solution to the current management of organic waste.

Grant Aims:

General Objective

  1. Assess the feasibility of a circular bioeconomy system based on the agronomic recovery of organic waste by recycling.

Through the production and assessment of scenarios, assess the potential for reuse of organic waste to improve soil health and the resilience of smallholder farmers in the Ouagadougou region of Burkina Faso, West Africa.

Specific Objectives

  1. Initiate and support the establishment and operation of a network of actors in the organic waste value chain.
  2. Consolidate and supplement the results of the inceptive project on organic waste flow, biochemical content, and properties for composting.
  3. Assess the present farmland soil health (carbon, microbiota) and the agronomic needs of cultivated species and practical conditions of biofertilizer use.
  4. Identify scenarios for recycling organic waste by using consultation and co-construction.
  5. Submit to economic, agronomic, environmental, and logistical assessments of the integrated scenarios at the regional level for nutrient recycling from organic waste.
  6. Experimentally validate the production process of the product(s) and test their agronomic efficiency and soil health effect with two local crops.
  7. Promote through advocacy a change in mentalities and policies toward the development of a circular economy.
  8. Train human resources (master’s, PhD students) and build capacities of urban and peri-urban women and out-of-school youth for a sustainable circular bioeconomy.

Outputs and Outcomes:


  • Actors in the value chain know each other better and know each other’s needs and constraints
  • Consolidated data on organic waste flow, biochemical content, and properties for composting available in the database
  • Data on urban and peri-urban soil health (carbon, microbiota) available in the database
  • Two or three scenarios for the recycling of organic waste identified and documented
  • Results of the economic, agronomic, environmental, and logistical assessments of the identified scenarios made available
  • Composting and/or bio digester and/or insect protein production system experimentally validated
  • New Ecosan hygienization protocol validated
  • Bio-fertilizers’ agronomic efficiency and soil health effect with two local crops tested
  • Authorities adoption of enabling policies for nutrient recycling and regional circular bioeconomy
  • Ecosan curriculum available for schools
  • Eight young scientists’ (MSc and PhD students) theses validated


  • An integrated organic waste recycling system that is motivated by agricultural demand and technically feasible and socially acceptable will establish an industrial ecological symbiosis between the city (consuming food and producing waste) and peri-urban area using organic fertilizers from recycling to maintain soil fertility so as to produce healthy food for the city.
  • Capitalizing on existing data from independent CCRP projects, the team aims to provide the basis for comparison between rural and peri-urban sites. Co-designing and -constructing with value chain protagonists has the potential of a virtuous triptych, combining economically sustainable production that reduces environmental impact while achieving a high level of food safety and human health. Another output will be better functioning Ecosan technology by improving the acceptability of its fertilizers through technological innovations, affecting sanitation in the city’s outlying areas. The results will allow researchers and technicians to publish articles and technical sheets on the agronomic recovery of organic waste, agroecological routes, and hygienization of Ecosan materials.
  • For the general public, youth in particular, a film in video and social media formats will be produced on the circular bioeconomy and focused on agroecological recycling. A website will be created with resources and tools for citizen action.