Lanzaloe and its commitment to the environment. Recycling and composting

Since 2001, at Lanzaloe we have been producing cosmetics and drinkable juice from the processing of Aloe Vera leaves, using raw materials grown on our own farm. This agro-industrial activity generates organic waste that must be responsibly managed to reduce its impact on the environment.

At Lanzaloe we have implemented composting and worm farming biotechnologies to efficiently transform all your organic waste and obtain useful by-products within the framework of 100% ecological production. The plant residues generated during all the activities of the nursery and maintenance of the Aloe vera plots located in Órzola reach up to 1.2 m3 per week; another 1.8 m3 of residues also result from the processing of the leaves in the technological facilities of Playa Honda, Lanzarote for the extraction of the pulp and obtaining our precious pure and fresh Aloe vera gel with all the nutraceutical properties that have been discovered worldwide.

 

Our organic recycling system comprises the following stages:

 

1. We prepare the material to be composted which includes the organic remains from the farm and factory. We take into account the degree of humidity of our waste, the size of the plant fragments and the relationship between the contributions of Carbon and Nitrogen among other elements.

2. Assembly of the compost piles. The already processed residues are disposed temporarily in layers that are accumulated in piles. We use a small portion of manure to favor the adequate proliferation of the organisms in charge in the composting process. When necessary, irrigation is applied to establish the necessary humidity.

3.  Humidity and aeration conditions. To renew the oxygen concentration, the biomass is turned over after a while. This promotes the proliferation of efficient microorganisms in the process and mixing the materials well.

4. Weekly monitoring of the composting stages. Variations in temperature, pH, apparent volume, colour, odour, etc. must be monitored. This helps us to determine the stage of the composting process.

5. Composting. Only after the progression of phases I, II and III of the composting process has been successfully completed (after 5-6 months), is it then decided to harvest the compost and continue with two different humification phases. All the compost below 40ºC is sieved and separated into two similar portions: one part of the sieved compost is piled up for natural humification (phase IV of composting) and subsequent use as solid fertilizer; the other half is incorporated into the worm culture system (alternative phase IV) for humification enriched with red worms (Eisenia andrei). 

6. Complementary vermicomposting. The second half of the sieved compost is initially inoculated with worms and is placed in long piles with a 10-30% difference in level on an impermeable layer for the controlled collection of liquid humus that is finally used as a nutritive solution in the fertigation of the entire farm. A portion of its volume is added weekly to these vermicomposting piles to feed the populations of red worms that multiply inside them and to re-establish the amount of substrate that decreases due to the concentration of compost or leaching.

 

At Lanzaloe we manage all the organic matter discarded in our agro-industrial processes using scientifically controlled techniques that guarantee the greatest possible efficiency in the ecological transformation of plant waste for the recycling of many of the elements invested in primary production.

 

The large amount of agricultural residues in the Aloe vera plots, such as non-viable offspring, damaged tissues, dry runoff after flowering, weeds; as well as, leaves and branches from pruning and cleaning of the farm's recreational gardens and solid particles not usable by the factory, are incorporated into recycling processes through composting and worm farming. These combined forms of management/transformation of organic matter, using environmentally friendly technologies, significantly reduce the volume of waste and also produce excellent quality fertilizers that contribute to the fertility and recovery of the farm's soils.

 

Farm waste

 

Factory waste

 

Shredded biomass from the residues (waste)

 

Composting pile assembly

 

Sifting of the compost

 

1. Portion enters natural humidification by means of conical stack arrangement with passive aeration (right, black arrow).

2. Portion in which the worm culture is incorporated (on the left, white arrows).

 

Red worms

 

Collection of the liquid Hummus.