A lack of systems thinking has been blamed for nearly every major problem that humans have every faced. From poverty to pollution, systems thinking has been heralded as our savior. In this course, we will examine what systems thinking is and if its potential lives up to its promise.
Field ClassCountry: Costa Rica
Students will get a complete overview of the "Waste 2 Energy" project at Mundimar, a subsidiary of Chiquita Brands. A visit to the fruit processing facility, which focuses on bananas and other fruit juices along with dehydrated topical fruits, approaches wastewater management issues with innovative solutions. Here the wastewater management system utilizes anaerobic lagoons in conjunction with a hermetic biogestor. The biogestor yields a biogas byproduct which supplies energy to the plant. All parts of the system, including how the effluents from the biogestor are used as fertilizer, will be discussed. Students will observe many components in this environmentally friendly system that uses no chemicals for wastewater treatment, removes greenhouse gases, uses no electricity for water purification, and produces organic fertilizer.