Spatial Modeling of Resource Recovery and Reuse using Sri Lankan Composting Systems as an Example

Maya Fein-Cole

University of Vermont

Co-Authors: E. D. Roy

The goal of this project is to develop a spatial model that simulates the distribution of a recovered resource to agricultural areas where that resource can be reused to support soil fertility. We focus on Sri Lankan composting systems as an example. To mitigate biodegradable municipal solid waste buildup in open dumps, the Sri Lankan government has established a national network of compost facilities that collect organic waste from households, restaurants, and other businesses for composting. However, for approximately one third of compost facilities included in a recent survey, current market demand for compost is less than the amount produced. Therefore, tools are needed that inform strategies to improve the flow of compost to the agricultural sector. A preliminary model was developed in ArcGIS that distributes compost from source cells to potential agricultural demand cells in an optimal spatial pattern. Future steps include decreasing the model run time, including multiple crop types, running multiple scenarios, and creating a user interface. This model will be applicable to other similar questions concerning resource recovery and reuse at a landscape scale.

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