The role of civil society organizations and system relationships surrounding participatory organic nutrient waste cycling : a case study exploration of De Zuiderhof's community composting initiative in Rotterdam, The Netherlands
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- Master's theses (IPV) 
In Europe, 75% of the population is urban which requires cities to be large importers of food also creating large amounts of organic waste. Civil society organizations (CSOs) have been a key player in addressing and alleviating issues that have stemmed from increased urbanization within the food system. However, the majority of these initiatives do not address the potential in organic nutrient waste cycling to increase sustainability in urban food systems. Organic waste management is instead treated by centralized large scale technocratic regimes which remove the participant connection to waste and also the potential to cycle nutrients. Therefore, the objective of this research is: to determine opportunities and barriers for CSOs to increase the development and adoption of holistic and participatory forms of organic waste management involving urban agriculture at the community level where there is an existing technocratic waste regime. In order to accomplish the research objective a case study has been conducted in the De Zuiderhof allotment garden complex located in Rotterdam, NL which has a community composting initiative: Compoststraat. The theoretical frameworks used to conduct this exploration are systems thinking and agroecology. These theories embrace the complexities found in this urban community and help to identify its place within the supra-systems in the surrounding environment. Qualitative methods of data collection include semi-structured interviews, field observation and document analysis. Findings of this research have been evaluated based on multiple system levels. CSOs should recognize the level of engagement necessary for successful implementation (as educator, organizer, motivator and moderator). The CSO must also act as a communication link between system levels (different scales of government, other CSOs and stakeholders). This provides the opportunity to not only create platforms of knowledge and resources, but also contributes variety which helps address and relate to issues concerning social, economic and environmental sustainability.