It was a landfill- the recipient of refuse from Barcelona and the surrounding area for over 30 years, piled over 100 meters deep in some places. According to the goal is that the adjacent Parc del Garraf absorb the dump by using the local forest tissue and supporting the establishment of primary ecosystems. They have engineered terraces, drainage systems, tapping bio gas for electricity and an underground filtration system for the contaminated water that drains through creating water for the irrigation system of the park. 20(49.42 acres) of the 60 hectares have been completed at this time.

This idea has just won the Energy, Waste and Recycling category at the 2008 World Architecture Festival held last week in Barcelona, Spain. The project has been underway since 2000 and is not yet complete. The judges of the competition have described the reclamation project, “a perfect example of bringing dead nature back to life by converting rubbish into a beautiful piece of landscape architecture…using few and humble means”.

The great news is that this system and others presented at the festival offer some simple and low cost solutions for waste. For example, the Community Cooker, a Kenyan group, has a UN- sponsored project in Kibera — a sprawling shantytown in Nairobi. There are millions of people there and no waste collection. People literally walk through garbage all day. Now they can recycle waste to fuel a giant cooker in this poor neighborhood where many never have a hot meal or warm water to bathe in. Youth are being paid to gather the garbage and residents can use the heat to boil water and cook hot meals.

These kinds of creative solutions can have a powerful social impact. I look forward to sharing more ideas like these.

Via: CNN , Hat tip to William