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Suffolk: Residents urged to start compost bins and wormeries to cut landfill costs

PUBLISHED: 14:00 31 July 2012

Composting more waste could cut county landfill bill

Composting more waste could cut county landfill bill

(c) Martin Poole

A LACK of home composting cost Suffolk taxpayers around £5million last year, council bosses have revealed.

Residents are now being urged to start their own compost bins, heaps and wormeries in a bid to keep waste out of black and brown bins.

Food and garden waste left in brown bins made up a third of all Suffolk household waste in 2011 and cost Suffolk County Council £3.8million to compost. Compostable waste dumped in black bins, which was then disposed of in landfill, cost a further £1.5m.

Now councillor Lisa Chambers, cabinet member for environment and property management, has urged residents to do their bit to lower the waste bill and improve their gardens.

Presenting a report, she said: “If just 1% of this material was home composted instead, the council would save £50,000 per year, and clearly if we were less successful at promoting home composting in Suffolk it would cost us dearly.” She added: “In my garden I have a compost bin and a wormery and I have put virtually nothing in my brown bin. I have the view that it’s my waste and I want to manage it.

“As well as creating great free fertiliser for the garden, home composting helps towards achieving the council’s target of diverting as much waste from landfill as possible. This in turn helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

The county council has already recruited about 60 volunteers to the Suffolk Master Composter scheme, who encourage people to either start composting or improve their results.The volunteers have agreed to give at least 30 hours of education work, advice and information to Suffolk residents at events, community talks and schools to promote the benefits and methods of home composting.

Mrs Chambers said: “The biggest barrier in trying to get people to compost is getting them to understand how they can do it. It does not smell or encourage rodents.”

Craig Renton, waste advisor and master composter co-ordinator for SCC, said all eight of the county’s local authorities are signed up with the National Home Compost Framework under the Suffolk Waste Partnership.

He added: “This enables Suffolk residents to buy a basic compost bin from as little as £16 (less than half the RRP). Residents can access the range of items available (including wormeries, bokashi food digesting systems) via the dedicated Suffolk website provided through the national framework.”

For more information, see www.suffolk.getcomposting.com/ or call the national orderline, 0844 5714444.

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