Compost Awareness Week 2014 gets underway

By Michael Holder

The fourteenth annual International Compost Awareness Week is taking place this week with events across the UK aimed at encouraging more people to take up peat-free home composting and cut waste.

Kicking off on May Day bank holiday Monday yesterday (May 5) and running until Sunday (May 11), a number of local authorities and businesses are taking part by organising awareness events, free compost giveaways or discounted compost containers.

Pupils of St.Marys CofE Aided Primary School, Viridor staff and the Stopham Plotters at the allotment site
Pupils of St.Marys CofE Aided Primary School, Viridor staff and the Stopham Plotters at the allotment site

While there is no UK coordinator for the week, composting charity Garden Organic has been helping to publicise the campaign with a school poster competition and a paint your own compost bin event in Leicestershire.

And, in Suffolk, a series of clinics and giveaways are taking place throughout the week at the county councils household waste and recycling centres (HWRCs).

Viridor

Marking the start of the week of events further south in England, staff from Viridors West Sussex HWRCs delivered 10 tonnes of its PAS 100 soil conditioner product, known as Reclaim, to a local allotment site.

Viridor works with specialist compost partners Olus Composting and the Woodhorn Group to produce the conditioner, using garden waste received at the 11 HWRCs in West Sussex operated by Viridor on behalf of the county council.

The recipient of the conditioner was West Sussex community group Stopham Plotters Association, which has recently taken over the running of the Grow Your Own Plots allotment site behind Pulborough Garden Centre.

Using the conditioner, children from St. Marys CofE Aided Primary School helped prepare a fully-planted, bee-friendly flower bed at the entrance to the allotment.

Nick Hawthorn, director of Olus and Heritage Products, said We are happy to donate the sleepers and compost to this community project. Creating compost from the green waste that comes into us is a key part of diverting waste from landfill. The compost produced is of the highest quality and meets all PAS 100 standards.

Veolia

‘Home composting is suitable for many types of household waste such as, fruit and vegetable peelings, egg shells, hair, nail clippings, tea bags, used napkins, coffee grounds, egg boxes along with every day garden waste’

Fabrice Bouchon, general manager for Veolia in Southwark

In conjunction with getcomposting.com, Southwark council waste contractor Veolia is offering borough residents buy one get one half price deals on discounted compost bins to encourage friends and family members to team up to purchase the containers.

The bins are 10 each, meaning residents can get two for 15 (plus 5.99 delivery). According to Veolia, this provides a 60% saving on the recommended retail price of 39.

Fabrice Bouchon, general manager for Veolia in Southwark, said: Home composting is suitable for many types of household waste such as, fruit and vegetable peelings, egg shells, hair, nail clippings, tea bags, used napkins, coffee grounds, egg boxes along with every day garden waste. We hope this great incentive will encourage more residents to get composting and put everyday household waste to good use.

And, in Nottinghamshire where Veolia is the waste contractor for the county council the firm is giving away 100 free compost bins in a bid to encourage more residents to take up home composting.

To be in with a change of winning, residents in the county must visit one of five composting roadshows being held across Nottinghamshire over the next two weeks to enter the free prize draw.

Lydia Powles, Nottinghamshire county councils Schools Waste Action Club compost advisor who will answer composting queries at the events said: About a third of the waste in household wheeled bins could be recycled into rich organic compost, an environmentally-friendly alternative to artificial fertilisers and peat.

Wales

Waste Awareness Wales campaign, Recycle for Wales, is encouraging households to take up composting by offering discounted compost bins from local authorities, as it says that around a third of household waste can be composted at home.

Carmarthenshire county council is holding a 5 compost bin sale this Wednesday at Co-op Crosshands from 9am-2pm. In addition, composting sessions for teachers will take place in the National Botanic Gargen on Thursday, and there will be a compost promotional stand at Carmarthen Growers Association event at Carmarthen Park on Saturday (May 10).

Elsewhere in Wales, Isle of Anglesey county council is also giving away free compost bins to residents at events at Llangefni and Holyhead markets this week.

Dan Finch National Communications Officer for Recycle for Wales said: Many people dont realise how simple it is to home compost or just how much of their household waste can actually be composted. You can start today by picking up a discounted compost bin, available from your local council.

Waste Awareness Wales is also encouraging people to make use of weekly food waste collections and to visit the Love Food Hate Waste campaign website to find out about recipe ideas for leftovers.

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