Compost might not be something you’ve ever thought much about before (or expect to read about on our website!), but, please stick with us! We ‘be-leaf’ it’s amazing stuff…
In fact, we’ve had a very exciting piece of equipment delivered to our community allotment this week which will mean we’re able to take waste from a local school and turn it into something brilliant…
Raddon from our allotment explains more…
This week at our Lalley Centre, the installation of a Ridan composting system kicked off our new project ‘Caritas Compost Club’, funded by Recycle for Greater Manchester.
Combining positive environmental action, education and community engagement, the project will recycle food waste from the nearby St Malachy’s RC Primary School and our own food pantry to create peat-free compost.
The compost will be used on our half-acre community allotment at the Lalley Centre, where growing food organically and following no-dig principles means that a large supply is needed to enrich the soil.
Fruit and vegetables from the allotment are shared with people accessing the community pantry, who often do not have access to fresh organic produce due to its high cost and lack of availability in the area.
As well as directly producing compost on site, ‘Caritas Compost Club’ aims to encourage greater awareness and uptake of food waste recycling by individuals and organisations in Greater Manchester.
Currently, large quantities of wasted food are still being disposed of in the general waste stream every day, with around two thirds of this being ‘avoidable’ food waste. This typically ends up in an incinerator or landfill, contributing significantly to planet-warming methane emissions and meaning that its valuable organic nutrients cannot be recovered.
Reducing the amount of food that is wasted is by far the most beneficial step to lessening the problem, but recycling any leftovers and inedible parts either by using a green bin for council collection or composting at home is also a simple and effective way to help.
Visitors to the allotment – including regular and corporate volunteers, adult education classes and school and wellbeing groups – will get to use the Ridan themselves, learning about the importance of food waste reduction and how recycling at home can make a difference.
In preparation for the project’s start, I’ve already been engaging pupils at St Malachy’s through assemblies. Educating pupils on the importance of not wasting food where possible, I’ve also taught them a short song to help remember where to put food waste at lunchtime and how to use the composter.
While many schools and businesses around the country are now using a Ridan to recycle their food waste, we’re very excited to be the very first in Manchester to do so. Judging by St Malachy’s pupils’ enthusiasm for the song, they are eager to start doing their bit to help take positive action too!