Waste diversion efforts for the purposes of lengthening the lifespan of a landfill are important; reduce, reuse, recycle. But in Brunei’s case, compost as a soil amendment makes for great agriculture. Borneo, the world’s third largest island, has beautiful, lush rainforests, but poor soil. Eons of heavy rainfall have leached its nutrients, leaving low potential for agriculture. We saw fledgling efforts to turn the tides. What to do with all that lush vegetation? Why use it for compost of course.
This valuable finished product is starting to be used in gardens such as this one – The Food Jungle, a 10 acre organic garden in Tutong run by only three government workers. Biochar is mixed with compost and added to raised beds that grow young ginger to be sold along with lemongrass and rambutan (wow, my new favorite fruit!) Another local garden, EcoPonies, also runs a periodic farmer’s market for locals to sell their produce.
Lastly, we saw a privately-funded startup garden that experimented with container gardening, chickens, and hydroponics, backed by several years of research from the university. Clearly, the potential is high for a new industry in Brunei. waste diversion + agriculture = win-win.