Greek Composting Company

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Greek Composting Company : Ελληνική Εταιρεία Κομποστοποίηση

Kozani, GreeceKozani, Greece
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
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.

GCC is creating a new ecosystem of stakeholders, leveraging the interaction of key players to meet a demonstrated need for sanitation services & employment for the people of Kozani and the broader region and increased food production for the farmers in the surrounding areas.

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

What if Greece can divert a significant portion of its waste volume to the production of fertilizer that can support its agricultural sector?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Currently, Greece’s waste management systems and its agricultural sector are not interlinked. The development of a composting company in Greece can create synergies by diverting the organic waste materials—that would otherwise be dumped in land fills—to a composting facility that can produce quality fertilizer that can be used by Greek farmers, particularly in the rural areas of the country.

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

Waste Management 1) GCC can provide employment opportunities and may offer compensation to households that participate as providers of waste materials. 2) GCC can reduce government expenditures by collecting a portion of the total waste from households. 3) Many towns and cities deposit all their trash in a single stream to landfills without diverting any materials that can be composted for reuse. Agricultural Sector 1) Small farmers may not have access to cheap fertilizers, thus having suboptimal yields. 2) Low access to fertilizers or relatively higher-priced fertilizer results in higher operating costs for farmers. 3) Local farmers cannot produce the optimal amount of food, which could otherwise be sold in local markets.
Impact: How does it Work

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

Business Model 1) Collection of waste from households and non households --Households: GCC employees travel from house to house via bicycles connected to trailers with 2 bins to collect waste -Use hand-scale to weigh individual contributions -Use mobile payments in exchange for waste -Bring day’s collection to neighborhood depot where trucks will collect from bicycle -Trucks transport materials to composting plant --Non-households: Trucks will collect at central location designated by company 2) Composting facility will decompose waste to fertilizer in rows --Pilot project will use manual labor to turn piles and then invest in machines 3) Sell fertilizer to farmers and large agricultural producers

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

The primary impact is to create a more sustainable waste processing system in Greece and in the process, accrue the following benefits: divert KG of waste collected from landfills, increase employment opportunities, compost-derived fertilizer will increase crop yields, enhance health outcomes from environmental contamination, improve tourism due to improved aesthetic appeal of cities and towns, and provide supplemental income to participants in the business. The business model has been developed and can be sustained by revenues from operations but it will enjoy significantly higher likelihood of success if the government embraces the idea and provides subsidies, trucks, and other assistance. Essentially, the government already pays to transport waste to landfills. Under GCC's vision, the public sector can reduce expenditures and provide jobs and a new domestic product in the process.

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

Necessary Behavioral Changes 1) People must provide compost waste materials --Monetary and personal incentives must be powerful enough to incite change -Government subsidies -Social relevance -Supplementary income --Education about health, environmental and economic benefits of PCC -Celebrities – chic composting campaign -Leverage community engagement via key community leaders 2) Product must be competitive and users must purchase it. If the fertilizer is not sufficient in nutrients as compared to competitive brands, synthetic fertilizer can be mixed with GCC's fertilizer.

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

This operation is highly dependent on the government or businesses to rent out their trucks to GCC because it is not worthwhile to purchase them outright in the beginning of the project. The company needs to approach farming cooperatives beforehand and ensure that there is possibility to sell fertilizer to farmers at a competitive level in terms of quality (nutrients) and price. There will be a pilot project to test all these assumptions.

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

This process is being done in many parts of the world, including the U.S. on city-level. In Greece, it may be occurring on small-scale. But in Macedonia, specifically Kozani, there is no such operation. There is waste collection and recycling but no attempt to produce fertilizer from waste materials.

Founding Story

This project has its genesis in a project completed by John Papaspanos and several students at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. This project can be spearheaded by Spyros Zarogiannis, a topography engineer that graduated from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and currently lives in Kozani, Greece.


Spyros Zarogiannis is willing to lead the team in Kozani and John Papaspanos is willing to provide advice. Spyros is familiar with the city and the project and he can approach city officials to propose this idea. If funding is conditioned on the approval by city (which is highly contingent on the granting of funds), then he can proceed in testing the assumptions and start small scale operation. John is J.D. recipient and capable of assisting.
About You
Hunton & Williams
About You
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About Your Project
Organization Name

Hunton & Williams

How long has your organization been operating?

Organization Country

, Kozani

Country where this project is creating social impact

, Kozani

What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Individuals, Foundations, Businesses, Regional government, National government, Customers.

Partnerships: Tell us about your partnerships.

The partnerships can be developed after the idea has been granted funding on the condition that the municipality of Kozani is willing to permit this operation and perhaps even support it.