For the Social Service of Commerce of the State of Santa Catarina (SESC) to promote sustainability at work based on eco-techniques, it implemented composting yards in its hotel units in the cities of Florianopolis, Blumenau and Lages.

By 2014, this actions resulted in the treatment of 670 tonnes of organic waste, which in turn generated approximately 210 tonnes of quality compounds used in fertilization. This material is donated to city halls, schools and communities to recover public spaces, create and maintain school gardens, and for organic agriculture and green areas of the institution itself.


A - General Information


START: 02/2012 (in progress)

EXECUTING ENTITY: Social Service of Commerce of the State of Santa Catarina – SESC.

PARTNERSHIPS: Centre for the Study and Promotion of Group Agriculture  – CEPAGRO

PRESENTED BYKatia Regina Lima 

RESOURCES: Own resources

COST RANGE: Between USD 10,000 and USD 15,000 (per implemented unit)



KEY WORDS: Environment; Composting; Organic Waste; SESC; Sustainability; Community

TARGET PUBLIC: Urban and peri-urban population, community and neighbourhood associations, local government, major generators of organic waste, such as restaurants and supermarkets, public and private educational institutions.

LOCATION: Urban and peri-urban area


SPECIFIC IMPLEMENTATION AREA: Municipalities of Blumenau, Florianópolis and Lages.


B - Practice Description



In the period before the implementation of the project, the waste generated by restaurants from the Social Service of Commerce of the State of Santa Catarina – SESC/SC was treated as household waste and sent to the municipal collection system packed in plastic bags to be deposited in landfills. This type of disposal causes a foul smell on the pavements and at the collection points. It also attracted disease vectors, such as rats and cockroaches in the proximities of the unit.

In order to minimize the impact generated by this organic waste from its restaurants, the SESC/SC developed a socio-educational programme to comply with the National Solid Waste Policy. In 2012, it implemented three composting yards in the hotel units in the State of Santa Catarina. The pilot project was initially developed in Florianopolis and subsequently in Blumenau and Lages.



Manage the waste of the SESC/SC hotels using social technology that is based on the 5 R concept, the development of eco-techniques and changes in behaviour and attitude for a fairer, more aware society.

Specific objectives:

  • Minimize the environmental impacts generated by organic waste;
  • Comply with the specific legislation;
  • Guide environmental education actions created by the operational and accommodation units;
  • Produce a quality organic compound for use in the SESC units and for distribution in the environmental awareness actions promoted by the entity;
  • Eliminate the use of plastic bags used in the disposal of organic waste;
  • Reinforce the environmental awareness policy by using educational materials.



To implement the project, the SESC/SC obtained the support of the Center for the Study and Promotion of Group Agriculture  – CEPAGRO, linked to the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC).

Adopted social technology:

The implementation of a thermophilic composting yard requires studies and concerns with infrastructure and the adaptation of physical space; the installation of a leachate drainage system; the correct separation of dry and organic waste in restaurants; transport logistics; daily technical inspection; direct observation of the process of decomposition and temperature maintenance of the beds.

Development stages:

Diagnosis: technical visits at the implementation units to verify the area where the beds will be installed; raise awareness and involve the employees in the process of collecting, separating and storing organic waste for the correct management of each stage and to ensure managerial alignment. 

Waste management: systematic follow-up with specialized technical visits to observe waste management and the daily management of the compost beds.

Logistics and transport: transport of organic material to the location of composting, with own vehicle and driver to complete daily trips between the units and the yards.

Application of the produced matter: use in gardening processes of the selected units, in environmental education campaigns developed by SESC, and for donations to requesting institutions.

Sustainability and education: the compost yards also have an important educational role and can serve as a teaching resource. These yards are therefore open for visits by students and the community in general. The project includes the production of material to promote this practice, such as booklets, informational banners, flyers and social media.



Results attained in a 2-year period of compost yard management:

  • Treatment of 670 tonnes of organic waste;
  • Production of 210 tonnes of organic compound;
  • Donation of 11 tonnes of organic compost to 21 institutions, including public schools and other entities in the municipalities of Florianópolis and Blumenau;
  • Donation of 90 tonnes of compounds approved by the Ministry of Agriculture to organic farmers in the greater Florianópolis area;
  • Estimation of economy for the public coffers of approximately BRL 120,600.00 by October 2014, due to the reduction of organic waste dumped into the public collection system;
  • Reduction in the purchase of plastic bags budgeted at BRL 30,240.00 by October 2014;
  • Economy with the purchase of fertilizer worth BRL 24,000.00 by October 2014;
  • State Circulation of a Scientific Education Exhibit of Thermophilic Composting with 67,336 visits/calls between 2013 and 2014;
  • Improvement in the production environment of restaurants due to correct waste separation logistics in accordance with the National Solid Waste Policy;
  • Correct disposal of 100% of pruning cuttings, twigs and grass;
  • Contribution to the creation and maintenance of school and community organic gardens.



Each unit currently comprises:

Human Resources: 3 to 5 people per unit, namely one (1) driver responsible for the logistics, two (2) to three (3) people effectively working in the yard, and one (1) technical manager.

Physical resources: implementation area of approximately 200 m², according to waste diagnosis.

Infrastructure: Wooden shed 3m x 2m x 1.5 m for storing daily-use material, and for washing and sanitizing the containers.

Equipment: Containers (50-litre capacity) suitable for conditioning and transporting of waste; vehicle for transporting the containers (from the collection point to the compost yard); pickfork (trident) for farm use.

Inputs: Straw; Sawdust (shavings) of untreated wood; organic waste.




The experience of implementing a compost yard began in the Cacupé hotel unit in Florianopolis. The positive results led to the replication of this project in the hotel units of Blumenau and Lages.

The SESC/SC also created a Travelling Exhibition of Scientific Education with the theme Thermophilic Composting to divulge the experience of the compost yard. The exhibition is of state-wide circulation and estimated to appear in 5 (five) municipalities in Santa Catarina every year. The archive is available for visits between 25 and 30 days at each location. The exposure and scientific literacy at these locations is based on a perspective of interactivity and educational knowledge.




The project implementation process revealed that the population is still not fully familiarized with organic waste management and is the cause of some suspicion due to the odours and dirt in the yard. Consequently, meetings were held with the local community to raise awareness and answer questions on the adopted management method.

Similarly, there is a need to raise awareness among the restaurant employees and customers on the correct way to separate waste, since only the organic residue must be used in the compost yard.

The yard can be used for conducting sustainable education practices. Visits to this environmental education area allow students from Santa Catarina to acquire greater knowledge and learn about new technologies that are employed to correctly dispose of waste and, subsequently, to protect the environment.


Practical scheduled visits are available from March to November, every day from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.

Number of visitors:  Up to 25 people.

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