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The compost will be made with food-waste generated at the market, Source: Zhenski Pazar Market

Open-air food market in Sofia launches Zero-Waste initiative

Open-air food market in Sofia launches Zero-Waste initiative

Zhenski Pazar will make compost from food waste generated at the market

The oldest open-air market in Bulgaria’s capital of Sofia, Zhenski Pazar recently announced they would start recycling food waste into compost. The move is part of a project called ‘City Compost for Sustainable Agriculture’, a joint initiative between the market, an agricultural company called Tera Life Solutions and the University of Forestry in Sofia.

‘City Compost for Sustainable Agriculture’ was financed by two funds for green innovation - ClimAccelerator Black Sea, organised by Innovation Starter Accelerator and the programme for ‘Women Participation in the Production of Agricultural Foods’.

A circular approach to agriculture

The project aims to suss out the optimal recipe for compost produced from urban food and green waste. The product would later be used by small and medium-sized agricultural producers. This would boost the production of bio-food, as well as a more circular approach to both agriculture and urban waste.

Every month between 500 and 1,000 litters of bio-waste generated at the market will be shipped to a testing site on the outskirts of Sofia, owned by the University of Forestry. There, they will test different compositions for the compost.

The project was officially launched at the end of February and it will run until the spring of 2023. According to the head of the company operating the market, Dragomir Dimitrov, Zhenski Pazar will be one of the first markets in the county to dip its toes into what can be described as a zero-waste policy.

He explained that the market started implementing similar initiatives back in 2018 with the first containers for recycling clothes in Sofia. Dimitrov also stated the company’s intent was to close the cycle when it comes to waste generation, utilising the market’s full potential.

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