Our projects

Here we’ll share our projects with you as they happen. Small, medium and large. Urban, rural and in-between. Community and household. Farm, field and back alley. Bokashi in all shapes and forms!

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New bokashi yard, making food waste recycling a reality

Our latest focus has been closer to home. In February we leased a new plot of land in the leafy suburbs of North Dagon, and we are building our first “Bokashi compost farm” there. It’s a new concept for us, probably the first of its sort anywhere, so we are testing and learning and working out how best to process up to one ton per day of food waste. Our goal is to produce Yangon’s best compost in quite serious quantities — we are determined to achieve it!

Another key input to our process is dry leaves – we use huge quantities of them! We also see it as somewhat of a rescue project too, as they would otherwise be burnt. This is a huge issue in Myanmar throughout the dry season – piles of leaves are burning everywhere, usually combined with plastic trash, and the air is acrid. We are probably the only people in Yangon to be actively collecting leaves, no one else seems to know what to do with them. We’re hoping this is a grass roots movement that will grow over time; rescuing leaves is as important as rescuing food waste. All of it should be going back to the soil!

Read more about this project in our monthly update here!

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British Embassy, food waste is a thing of the past

Every project needs a champion, and at the British Embassy it’s Ali Chugg, long-time teacher, quiet environmental activist and spouse of the British Ambassador to Myanmar. She started in the residence itself: all food waste is now put proudly into the bokashi barrel. We showed the gardeners how to make a bokashi stack in their new kitchen garden, and expanded the project to include other families on the compound as well as the British Club, Embassy offices and British Council.

Read more about this project in our monthly update here!

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International School Yangon, all food waste now becomes bokashi compost

It’s easy for companies, school and hotels to talk about the environment without actually ever doing anything. ISY took the challenge and became the first school in Yangon to start recycling ALL their food waste using bokashi. Several tons per month, and none of it now goes to landfill — we’re impressed!

The big blue barrels of bokashi are collected regularly by RecyGlo and returned to us at Bokashi Myanmar. We use the bokashi in our compost stacks, clean and return the barrels for a new batch, and thus the wheels keep turning. Many of the students are talking about this with their parents, we’ve had classes from the school come to us to see what happens with their food waste and to see how the food-soil-food circle works in real life. They love picking radishes straight from the garden!

Read more about this project in our monthly update here!

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U Thant House, a huge bokashi stack in the heart of Yangon

U Thant was one of the most respected leaders of the United Nations, ever. Burmese and foresighted, he talked about sustainability well before it was a thing. His home, in the leafy and somewhat elite suburbs of Yangon, is now a museum — the themes are peace, history, and sustainability. We got involved in December and have been donating our time and skills since then to develop a large-scale bokashi stack that can take care of the never-ending piles of dry leaves that accumulate on the 1.5 acre section.

It’s working really well, and to keep the process of soilmaking moving as quickly as possible we’re taking in market waste from the local market. We need the nitrogen boost from the green waste (which we ferment as bokashi) to trigger the carbon supply in the leaves. It’s our classic green-brown-black mix (more here) and there’s been a lot of interest in our method. On Mondays we often run training sessions for professional gardeners — word is spreading!

Read more about this project in our monthly update here!

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Dulwich College, getting kids involved

When one of the school’s passionate young teachers asked us if we could help him start food waste recycling in the school canteen we of course said YES! Dulwich College is a new and very nice international school in the expat zone of Yangon. The students have class gardens and a holistic approach to education which includes recycling, tracking air pollution and relating to climate change.

The students in a number of classes at the school are now taking care of their own food waste and starting to plant their own vegetable gardens close to their classrooms. Bokashi works best when it is simple. Best of all, they are going home to their parents on the neighbouring estate and talking about what needs to be done at home too, this makes us really excited for the future.

Read more about this project in our monthly update here!

Foto: Jenny Harlen

Ward 67, a community garden in a slum

Ward 67 is an informal settlement in the eastern part of Yangon — home to some 20,000 people, with no water, waste management or even electricity. Our project partner Green Lotus has been working in the ward for some time, and asked us to help them build a community farm alongside the community center. Well, hardly a farm, as there really is no land in this community — the whole area is underwater for half the year and has no roads or drainage to speak of.

We have volunteered in the Ward since September to teach a core group of women how to make bokashi from market waste and how to create a productive raised garden in land that was once under water. They are now growing a steady supply of huge gourds that they give to family and friends. The ultimate plan is to build a bigger urban farm based on compost from market waste.

Read more about this project in our monthly updates here and here!