Reliance Compost: Growing Greener Generations

Reliance Compost, a company near Cape Town, produces certified organic compost. The use of high quality compost leads to fertile soil, excellent crop yields and a stable income for communities.

The Challenge

South Africa faces a lack of fertile land, soil degradation and pollution of its rivers and groundwater – all serious environmental challenges that need to be addressed. A major cause of these issues is the excessive use of chemical fertilisers.

The Solution

In contrast, the use of organic compost enriches the soil and ecosystem without negative side-effects. In this project, controlled microbial compost (CMC) is produced and sold by a local company called Reliance Compost. CMC is mostly made up of municipal garden and park waste generated by the City of Cape Town. Suppliers of raw material include garden service companies, private gardeners, municipal contractors, city parks departments and various cleaning operations.

Reliance Compost chips the green waste and trucks it to the composting facility where it’s produced aerobically in a process lasting six to eight weeks. CMC production replaces dumping of garden refuse at municipal waste dumping facilities and other places where the waste would decompose anaerobically, leading to an increase of methane emissions into the atmosphere.

Using high quality compost leads to fertile soil, good yields and a stable income for rural farmers. This is an important first step to job security and helps to prevent mass migration from rural areas to the cities. The project reduces greenhouse gas emissions, thus mitigating the impacts caused by climate change.

Carbon Credits

This project is registered as a Voluntary Emission Reduction (VER) using the guidelines of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), thereby allowing companies to credibly offset their carbon footprint in order to make a sustainable environmental and social impact in South Africa. The Project’s social, economic and environmental impacts are measured and monitored by internal and external researchers and audited by independent auditors as required by the CDM rules and regulations.

Key SDGs impacted



  • improvement of soil fertility in the Western Cape
  • improving disease resistant crops leading to less need for chemical pesticides
  • increasing the water holding capacity of the soil by up to 70%


  • jobs are created, leading to a secure and stable income for many people


  • by applying this compost yields are increased and high costs of chemical fertilisers and pesticides are avoided