What is community composting?
Community composting is where a central composting point is made available for local residents to use and compost their fruit and vegetable peelings. Schemes like these, being led by communities, not only help the environment but also have great social benefits, creating community cohesion by helping bring local residents together with other groups and community driven organisations. It also helps with the building blocks towards zero waste and low carbon communities.
Composting is the most natural way to deal with organic waste and can improve soil quality to help grow healthy plants. In the city centre many people do not have enough or any space to be able to compost and community composting can be the answer. Organic waste can make up to 30% of household waste and can produce strong green house gases, when disposed in a landfill.
Current schemes running in the city
Since August 2011 we have been working with lots of Community Associations, Friends of Groups, community gardening groups and The Brighton and Hove Food Partnership to set up community composting schemes. The schemes have been a great success and so far we have the following up and running:
- St Peter’s Church
- Brighthelm Community center and Garden
- Dyke Road Park
- Wish Park
- Bevendean Community Garden
- St Luke's Church
- Eastern Terrace
- Ingram Crescent (east and west)
- Montpelier Crescent (currently at full capacity)
- Marine Square
- St Nicolas Park (local residents and gardening group only)
- Moulsecoomb Forest Garden
- Hollingbury Library (local residents only)
- London Road Community Garden (local residents only)
- Preston Park
- Wick Hall (local residents only)
(some schemes have been set up independently and have not been listed here)
All these scheme combined are helping over 600 households compost their vegetable peeling, fruits, tea bags, and coffee grounds, cardboard and shredded paper. In one full year, the citywide community composters could divert more than 50 tonnes of food waste from disposal (based on 15% of household waste is compostable). Which is the equivalent almost 4 double decker buses in weight!
We are still receiving lots of interest and have more being looked into as new schemes across the city.
The schemes are community led by local residents with support from the council and Brighton and Hove Food Partnership. The council and Brighton and Hove Food Partnership will be on hand for advice and support. Turning and removing the compost will be carried out by members of the composting group. Training is available on how to look after your bin. It’s an easy job and you get to know your neighbours as well.
Here’s a map of the current schemes running in the city. Some of these are private to the group who run the scheme but please contact the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership to find out if you can join a scheme.
We work together with the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership to help local residents find a good place to set up a new community composting scheme. The council and food partnership are happy to support new schemes by providing compost boxes, kitchen caddies and education and training.
If you want to set up a new scheme, these are the first steps:
- Are you part of a group/residents association or Friends of group?
- Is there an open space near where composters can be placed and people can access?
- Do you have dedicated people who will act as compost monitors, keep and eye on the scheme and report back if there's any problems?
- Do you have any ideas of what you want to do with the finished compost?
If yes to all the above or unsure on some points, contact the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership first and they can help on 01273 431700 Mon to Fri 9 -5. Once we can find a place and work out how a scheme will work best with your group/neighbourhood we can all meet and work together to get a community led composting scheme off the ground.
Do's and Dont's
Do use this scheme – it will stop fruit and vegetable waste going to landfill where it forms methane a powerful greenhouse gas and leachate a toxic sludge – instead healthy soil will be made.
- Do put fruit and vegetable waste, tea bags, coffee grounds in your caddy
- Do put toilet rolls and other cardboard tubes and egg boxes in your caddy (add lots of cardboard)
- You may find in helps to line your caddy with cardboard or newspaper – that way when you empty it into the compost bin there is less mess.
- Do remember to lock the bin again afterwards
- Do ask if you aren’t sure about what can go into your compost bin – email the Food Partnership or call 01273 431700 (Monday to Friday 9-5)
If in doubt don’t put it in!
Don’t put in meat, pasta, bread, rice, dairy – it will attract vermin.
Don’t put in any plastic, glass or metal
Don’t put in cat litter, animal faeces.
Don’t put in egg shells- they can attract vermin and do not compost very well.