The Agricultural Cooperative
By Kristina Brenneman
The Agriculture Cooperative of the Farmers' Union located near Parikia and where most of the Island's wine, cheese and olive oil is processed, has introduced a waste management operation for the treatment of residual products.
The Agricultural Cooperative is a place where the waste from the farmers' yield can be taken and used rather than being dumped in the local river bed, as it was until 3 years ago. The compound consists of three separate plants for wine, dairy, and olive oil waste (the production of each produces much waste—40% for wine, roughly 90% for dairy, and 80% for olive oil). Much of the waste is made into fertilizer— a combination of olive leaves, seaweed, wood dust from carpenters, and other waste materials. The Cooperative also collects used oil from restaurants so that it will not be wasted or burned. From the leftovers of pressing olives comes the STABI line of products which uses these to produce a range of antiseptic soaps, cleansing agents, and even pesticide. This line of products can be purchased at 3M stores.