SYSTEMIC DESIGN FOR THE RECYCLING OF SOLID AND LIQUID ORGANIC WASTE AND THE HYDROPONIC GROWTH OF ORGANIC FOOD: A NATURAL CYCLE OF LIFE

Ignacio E Peon-Escalante, Silvie Turpin-Marion, Maria Antonieta Sanchez-Gongora

Abstract


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We propose a systemic design for the total recycling process of solid and liquid organic waste, its anaerobic and aerobic treatment, and the production of organic food through the use of hydroponics under a controlled environment. In Mexico City, as in many other cities in the world, waste management is a growing problem, solid and liquid, organic and inorganic. One half of solid waste in Mexico City is organic. The city government also has considerable difficulties with the disposal of waste. Another relevant issue is the availability of water for Mexico City’s, 20 million inhabitants. At the Instituto Politecnico Nacional (IPN), a large and influential public university in Mexico, a technical research project has been designed to provide a systemic solution for these important needs.

In nature, there is a Cycle of Life in each of the biotic parts of an ecosystem there is a synergetic relationship between biotic and non-biotic systems. When a living being dies, its organic waste becomes a favorable substrate for decomposers, in the organic waste, living beings obtain water and nutrients for their growth. The main composition of living beings is water. We can observe how ecosystems work, and use an ecosystemic metaphor for a systemic design of a recycling process.

A systemic socio-technical solution is being developed under the conceptual guideline of the ecosystemic metaphor through a participative action-research process to design an integral solution to the problems of waste, water and food production. For almost thirty years we have been working on this type of solutions alongside rural and urban communities, the next step is to optimize the recycling and construction process with an action-research systemic project on its technological, economic, social and environmental dimensions.

Keywords


Cycle of Life, ecosystemic metaphor, participative action-research process

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