A shopping center in Brazil is growing vegetables on its rooftop using waste collected from the mall’s restaurants. The garden is on the roof of the Eldorado shopping center in Sao Paolo. Workers there use trash from the restaurants to create compost for the garden. Compost is used to improve the soil of the garden. A spokesman for the mall says that the waste from 10,000 meals served each day in its food court goes into the compost.
Workers grow different kinds of fruits and vegetables on the rooftop garden, including tomatoes, lettuce and eggplant. The fruits and vegetables grown there provide free food for the employees. Mall officials also hope to reduce the amount of waste that would end up in a garbage dump. This, they hope, will reduce carbon gases entering the atmosphere.
Cicero Evangelista leads the waste recycling effort. He says about 400 kilograms of organic waste are created every day from the mall’s food court.
He says, "We weigh the material and add enzymes that eliminate bacteria, reduce humidity and accelerate decomposition. This is how we turn organic waste into organic compost."
Officials at the shopping center want to save as much waste as possible. So, they held workshops for employees to learn how to best collect waste from their stores. Neide Lopes is a food court worker. She says it is helpful to put in the extra work.
"The initiative is active and creative, and they distribute the produce among us, so it's very good. It is a way of reducing waste, and we receive food that we don't have to pay for, that's the best part!"
Mall employees say the project reuses waste food to make food and reduces the shopping center’s carbon footprint at the same time.
I’m Jonathan Evans.
VOA’s Zdenko Novacki reported this story. Jonathan Evans adapted it for Learning English. Mario Ritter was the editor.
Words in This Story
compost – n. a decayed mixture of plants (such as leaves and grass) that is used to improve the soil in a garden; compost - v. to make compost
food court – n. an area within a building ( - such as a shopping mall) where there are many small restaurants that share a large area of tables for their customers
mall – n. a large building or group of buildings containing stores of many different kinds and sizes