South African Waste Information Centre      Department: Environmental Affairs Republic of South Africa
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 Last Updated: 2007-11-30 13:16:02 
Agricultural waste

Organic wastes are produced as a result of a wide range of agricultural activities, for example crop residues, animal manure, poultry litter, etc. These can be converted to energy by a range of technologies, including direct combustion, gasification, anaerobic digestion (to produce biogas), etc.

Zero waste agriculture is a type of sustainable agriculture which optimizes use of the five natural kingdoms, i.e. plants, animals, bacteria, fungi and algae, to produce biodiverse-food, energy and nutrients in a synergistic integrated cycle of profit making processes where the waste of each process becomes the feedstock for another process.
Zero waste agriculture presents a balance of economically, socially and ecologically benefits as it:

1. optimizes food production in an ecological sound manner
2. reduces water consumption through and recycling and reduced evaporation
3. provides energy security through the harvesting of biomethane (biogas) and the extraction of biodiesel from micro-algae all of which from as a by-products of food production
4. provides climate change relief through the substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from both traditional agriculture practices and fossil fuel usage
5. reduces the use of pesticides through biodiverse farming

The following documents have been made available with the intention to share information on the management of agricultural waste in South Africa or the reuse of waste within an agricultural environment.