Juice Company Dumped 12,000 Tons of Orange Peels on Lifeless Soil and Turned It Into a Lush Forest



The development of a landfill typically means the loss of several species, but in the case of one Costa Rican dump site — one company’s trash became the forest’s treasure. What began as a land dumpsite agreement between Del Oro juice company and Guanacaste Conservation Area blossomed into a fruitful experiment that revitalized the area after the dumping stopped. In 1997, government officials agreed to permit Del Oro to dump their orange peels — which have no pesticides or insecticides — into the forest in an area where the soil quality was poor. Over the course of 15 years, 12,000 metric tons of orange pulp and peels were dumped onto a 35,000-square-foot stretch. To the amazement of researchers, the orange peels had completely transformed the land’s fertility from barren lifeless soil into a thick, rich, loamy mixture. What was once useless soil became a lush forest. The rediscovery gives hope to other companies that there are ways to execute waste management in environmentally and ecologically-sound ways.

 

Before orange peels were dumped on the land

15 years later