Kot-Kot: A Solution for Cyprus’ Waste Problem

environment sustainability

The Kot-Kot initiative in Cyprus tackles waste management issues by collecting food waste to feed rescued chickens, promoting soil fertilization and pest control, reducing landfill waste and CO2 emissions. It aims to scale up its operations to encompass 15,000 chickens, redirecting 547 tons of food waste from landfills annually and preventing the release of 1,150 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.

What is the Kot-Kot initiative and how does it address Cyprus’ waste problem?

The Kot-Kot initiative in Cyprus tackles the country’s waste management issues by adopting a circular economy model. It involves collecting food waste to feed a flock of rescued chickens, which then contribute to soil fertilization and pest control. This sustainable practice reduces landfill waste and CO2 emissions, promotes education on waste segregation, and illustrates a scalable model for a greener future.

Cyprus’ Environmental Challenge

Cyprus stands at a critical juncture in waste management, grappling with the imperative to align with the European Union’s stringent standards. The Mediterranean island has found itself in a precarious position, with a staggering 67% of its municipal waste directed to landfills, a figure that overshadows the EU’s average of 25%. The repercussions of this practice are twofold: environmental detriment and substantial fines levied by the EU. In 2022, the statistics were telling, with 523,000 tonnes of municipal waste generated, equating to an alarming 609kg per capita. Of this, a significant portion, 202 thousand tonnes, was organic waste that found its way into landfills. With only three out of eleven landfills meeting EU standards, the emergent methane from the non-sanitary sites is a ticking environmental time bomb. This greenhouse gas contributes to an annual 424 thousand tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions, analogous to circumnavigating the globe 40 thousand times by plane.

The mechanical-biological treatment (MBT) plant in Pentakomo has faltered in its operations, with a substantial quantity of Limassol’s mixed solid waste being landfilled instead of processed. This points to an urgent need for systemic change in Cyprus’ waste management paradigm, from grassroots movements to decisive government actions.

The Kot-Kot Initiative

Amidst the backdrop of waste management challenges, the Kot-Kot project emerges as a beacon of sustainable practice from the verdant groves of Akaki village. Spearheaded by the visionary Elena Christoforos, an organically certified and holistically managed agro-ecosystem has become the cradle for this innovative venture. Kot-Kot transcends the conventional boundaries of waste management by adopting a circular economy framework, targeting the burgeoning issue of food waste.

The initiative’s model is quintessentially straightforward yet ingenious. Kot-Kot’s strategy hinges on the collection of food waste from diverse sources such as schools, eateries, and hotels. This waste serves as sustenance for a flock of rescued chickens, which upon retiring from their egg-laying phase, play an integral role in the grove’s ecosystem. These chickens aid in soil fertilization and pest control, thus perpetuating the cycle of sustainability.

Education and Impact

Kot-Kot’s commitment to environmental stewardship extends to the realm of education through a pilot project with the Junior School of Nicosia, encompassing 800 students. The initiative aspires to collect 1.2 tons of food waste monthly from the school. This effort not only sustains 150 retired chickens but also produces 90kg of dry fertilizer each month, and crucially, mitigates 2.4 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions. Moreover, the Kot-Kot team is dedicated to imparting knowledge on waste segregation and circular economy to students, further enriching the experience with farm visits.

Though its scale may seem modest in the face of Cyprus’ waste production, Kot-Kot holds immense transformative potential. It exemplifies a shift towards sustainable agriculture and waste reduction, illustrating a future where such practices are commonplace.

Kot-Kot’s Vision and Expansion

Kot-Kot is not merely a solution; it is a vision for a greener, more sustainable Cyprus. To broaden its impact, the initiative aims to escalate operations to accommodate 15,000 chickens. This expansion has the potential to redirect 547 tons of food waste away from landfills annually, thereby preventing the release of approximately 1,150 tons of CO2 into our atmosphere.

Further growth includes collaborations with a broader network of schools, restaurants, and hotels, and it actively seeks the support of both governmental and non-governmental entities. Kot-Kot epitomizes more than innovation; it represents a commitment to a cleaner and more sustainable future. For those interested in joining the cause or learning more, Kot-Kot invites inquiries via email at and interaction through their Instagram handle @kotkotcyprus.

Nicolas Netien, the environmental engineer behind this concept, is an authority in Agro-ecology and Permaculture Design, and his expertise has been instrumental in bringing Kot-Kot to life.

What is the Kot-Kot initiative and how does it address Cyprus’ waste problem?

The Kot-Kot initiative in Cyprus tackles waste management issues by collecting food waste to feed a flock of rescued chickens. These chickens help with soil fertilization, pest control, and overall sustainability practices. This initiative aims to reduce landfill waste and CO2 emissions in Cyprus.

What are the environmental challenges that Cyprus is facing in terms of waste management?

Cyprus is struggling with waste management, with a significant amount of municipal waste ending up in landfills. This not only poses environmental risks but also leads to substantial fines from the European Union. The country generates a high amount of waste per capita, with a large portion being organic waste that contributes to CO2 emissions.

How does the Kot-Kot initiative operate and what impact has it had so far?

The Kot-Kot initiative collects food waste from various sources and uses it to feed rescued chickens. These chickens contribute to soil fertilization, pest control, and waste reduction. The initiative has had a positive impact by preventing food waste from going to landfills, reducing CO2 emissions, and educating students about waste segregation and sustainability.

What are the future plans for Kot-Kot and how can interested individuals or organizations get involved?

Kot-Kot aims to expand its operations to accommodate 15,000 chickens, redirecting a significant amount of food waste from landfills and reducing CO2 emissions. The initiative is open to collaborations with schools, restaurants, and hotels, and welcomes inquiries via email at or through their Instagram handle @kotkotcyprus.

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