Compost awareness week – community composting

Filed in Blog by on May 8, 2009 6 Comments
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community-compostingIf you haven’t got a garden, but are sold on the idea of composting as a way of diverting valuable resources from the landfill, then Community Composting might be for you.

In our county, Gloucestershire council are looking for people who might be interested in setting up a community composting scheme in their local community.Gloucestershire county council can provide some funding for set up costs (around £1000 to £1500), and help access funding from other sources. They have access to a large database which provides up to date information on grants which are available.

In addition, the council can provide recycling credits for every tonne of waste diverted away from landfill.
Currently, we have a successful community composting project in Lower Slaughter which has been running since 2005.

They’ve just been nominated for the Pride of Gloucestershire award too! Residents were dismayed that so much garden waste was being put out for door to door collection instead of being used in the village that they set up their own scheme to return the ‘waste’ as compost to local residents.

Most of the composting is carried out using a row of four, 2 meter square bins. Old carpets are used  to keep the material warm, resulting in good quality compost after around 4 months.

The work is carried out by volunteers and a paid site manager with residents paying a yearly subscription and collecting their compost bags at the site.

By diverting around 30 tonnes of garden waste from landfill a year, the community composting group receives funds from the county council through the Recycling Credits scheme.

So if you’re in Gloucestershire and fancy a worthwhile project to get stuck into, why not contact the council to find out more?
What about you? Do you have a community compost scheme in your area?

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About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (6)

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  1. Sarah says:

    What a fabulous idea, I’ll have to have a look and see if there’s anything here. As I compost as much as I can at home anyway it’s not something I’ve thought of.

  2. John Costigane says:

    Hi Mrs Green,

    Do these facilities take green food waste? While we are waiting for full food waste collections this would be a good way to recycle the fruit/veg peelings, for those with no home composting.

    I know some councils take mixed garden/kitchen waste collections already in the one wheelie bin, saving a collection for part of home food waste.

  3. Deb from Boston says:

    I’m very fortunate here in Boston they have curbside pickup for leaf and yard waste for 5 wks twice a year – the waste then gets composted and used throughtout the city parks and community gardens. I’ve also heard that there are plans to build a facility to campture the heat/ energy created by these huge compost piles.
    Boston also subsides the cost of compost bins for homes – I have two – one at my house for food waste and leaves, and one at my community garden.

  4. Mrs Green says:

    @Sarah: I think it’s fab too, Sarah – it’s a great way to rebuild community and divert valuable waste from the landfill. And what a great excuse to get outdoors with some neighbours 🙂 let me know if there is anything in your area.

    @John Costigane: I don’t know John. we cannot put food waste into our green waste bins here, but as usual; different areas have different policies. You’d have to ask in your local area.

    @Deb from Boston: Sounds like things are working well over there, Deb. I think similar happens here, but I’m not sure what the food waste is used for yet – there are plans to bring that into play in September I believe. I think it will make an enormous difference for people, but what will come of the home bokashi?!

  5. Sarah says:

    @Mrs Green: Nothing here that I can find online – I think an email is in order….

  6. Mrs Green says:

    Well that’s no good Ms Barnard – let us know if you get a helpful response and good luck!

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