Ciclo Orgânico

This Entry has been submitted.

Ciclo Orgânico: Co-creating a zero waste community in Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, BrazilRio de Janeiro, Brazil
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

We are a social business, dedicated on co-creating a zero waste community. We believe that people, bikes, buckets and composting bins are that perfect recipe to achieve that goal. And through a pedal-powered collection and decentralized compost service, you can change the destiny of our community.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if every person could change the destiny of their waste, making healthy soil, and local food, turning a sanitation problem into a food security solution?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

We, as a community, are facing a global problem: What to do with the huge amounts of waste that is produced every day? We reach a point that the old way of throwing it away, as far as we can, is not sustainable any more. And what are the main causes of this problem? Maybe it's just because the problem doesn't happen behind our eyes, it`s also a reflect of our fast modern life or even the lost of a community empowerment.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

To solve this problem, we believe in community composting, as the main strategy to reach a zero waste city. Knowing that this is going to be a big challenge, we decide to create a simple and practical solution focused on people. So we offer an organic waste pedal-powered collection together with the composting service, providing to you the easiest way to transform your food scraps in healthy soil and local food. But how does it works? The user subscribes in our platform and receives a bucket, to collect the organic waste, than we collect it once a week, weigh, compost, and give you back one soil bag, a spice plant or you can donate your compost to an organic farmer. We also inform where those waste goes and their impact contribution.


1st place in Shell Live Wire (2015) and 2nd place in Sebrae Social Bussines Marathon (2015)
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Fernanda is 27, environmental engineer and a nature-connected woman, she has a really hard routine, working in a big company and studying at night, some of her hobbies are surfing, and practising yoga. But there was one thing annoying her, every time she through a food scrap in the trash, she knows that this is not trash, and it should not go to the landfill. After she started composting with us, her problems were over, in 4 months she and her family already composted, locally, more than 200 lbs of organic waste, an equivalent of more than 120 lbs of “black gold”, also received spice plants, one compost bag and supported an organic farmer. Now she is proud to say that her waste goes back in the food cycle.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Now we are composting, weekly, the organics from more than 30 families it’s about 1000 lbs of food scraps per month and our next goal is to achieve 100 families until the end of the year, it’s going to be 3 tons/month of waste being composted. Next year we are planning to expand to two other composting sites, providing the service for more than 400 families (9 tons/month). Our future plans are to upscale the service to condos, offices and commercial locations and our dream is to replicate this model of organic waste management to other cities, spreading the composting revolution and co-creating zero waste cities. We also plan to develop energy recovery from composting and use other biotechnologies, like anaerobic digestion. By the way, we are also generating healthy job opportunities, avoiding environmental impacts and promoting organic local food and clean energy production.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

In the short term our plans are to spread drop-off sites and to provide the service to condos and apartment complexes. It’s also important to highlight some strategic partnerships, with ngo’s, gardening companies and organic food markets. For the next two years, our plan is to attend more families and keep testing new possibilities always measuring the results and impacts, so we can systematize this model and replicate to other cities and states. Together with educational and recycling programs and governmental policies we expect to reconnect society with nature, through zero waste cities.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

This model is supported by the clients, people worried with the waste destiny willing to finance the composting. Our costs are related to four main areas: logistics, composting, marketing and management. To implement new facilities we are saving incomes from specific events and composting on site projects. We also plan to work with crowdfunding to implement new projects. Investors who wish to support our projects may accelerate this upscaling.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

We are the first brazilian pedal-powered composting company and one of our inspirations, were the Revolução do Baldinhos (Little Buckets Revolution) a project in south Brazil that spread community composting in a poor neighborhood, diverting many tons of waste from the landfill and solving a huge sanitation problem. Other initiatives are the household worm bins, commercial composting companies and the brazilian zero waste movement. What we all have in common is the desire to make the change in the world, starting from our communities.

Founding Story

We are three environmental engineers that studied together in the undergraduation course, and we were connected by a university project where we discovered permaculture, and it was when composting entered in our lives. We used to collect our food scraps in buckets and bring it by bus to the university, that completely change our relationship with our waste. Along this period many other people who has the same concerns, and would love to change their waste destiny, made us think that maybe there was an opportunity in that problem, and the years of expertise in community composting could be a perfectly match for the born of this changemaker social business.


Our actual team is composed by five members. Lucas Chiabi, an environmental engineer graduated by the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and member of the Global Shappers Community. Lara Angelo Oliveira, a masters degree in agroecology by the Federal University of São Carlos and environmental engineer graduated in the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Tomé de Almeida e Lima, a graduate student in environmental engineering by the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, he also attended exchange in the Sustainable Engineering Master’s Program Resource Recovery, by the University of Borås, Sweden. Thamyris Soliva, a graduate student in advertising by the University Veiga de Almeida. William John Hester, a graduate student in civil engineering by the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. The three partners are Lucas, commercial coordinator, compost pedaller and composting manager, Lara, communication coordinator, compost pedaller and composting manager, and Tomé, operational coordinator, compost pedaller and composting manager. Thamyris is our social media manager and William our first compost pedaller. As the project grows we are going to need more compost pedallers, composting managers and project managers. We value the transparency and trust to engage and empower all staff. Accordingly we believe that self-management tools and personal relationship enhancement can keep the staff rapport working well.