Save Your Rural Food Waste Service – we need your help!!
Service extended to end of June 2018 but we still need your help to secure long term funding
The 2000m² Project food waste composting scheme has been running in the EH46 postcode for two years as part of a wider project funded by the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund (CCF). The 2000m² Project will not receive CCF funding after March 2018, which means that communities around Romannobridge and West Linton stand to lose their local rural food waste recycling service.
There is a strong case for the continuation of the food waste composting service, either through funding from Zero Waste Scotland or by other means. Reasons for continuing to fund the scheme are as follows:
There is strong local support. The two-year pilot project has effected behaviour change in the local area as the pilot scheme has seen 160+ households adopt a green routine of bringing their food waste for collection and recycling. These households would now be loath to send their food waste to landfill. The participants would be sad to see the service end, as it has become part of the culture of the two local primary schools and the wider community.
The service fulfills a local need. Scottish Borders Council does not collect food waste for recycling in rural areas and their return rate for urban food waste collection is below target. This is one of very few rural food waste collection schemes and therefore it would be particularly disappointing to stop it.
There are big environmental benefits. Food waste is a major emitter of methane, which is a more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2. Food waste composting by the 2000m2 Project has diverted over 22 tonnes of waste from landfill in two years, saving over 15 tonnes CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent of the methane saved).
There is potential for the service to become community-run. Possible sites are being looked at for rehoming the composting vessels and handing the service over to West Linton or Romannobridge communities. Funding has also been secured for a macerator which would make the service more efficient in its new location. More time is needed, though, to complete this transfer and in the meantime it is vital that the momentum gained in the last two years of the project is not lost.
If you are concerned about the loss of the food waste service, here is how you can help:
Email us with a message of support, explaining why you want it to continue, how it has changed your attitude to food waste (if it has) and how the ending of the service would affect what you would have to do with your waste (would it go back in your general waste bin?) – thank you everyone who has done this already
Sign our petition next week at the collection points (Tues & Fri at West Linton, Thurs at Newlands, 8-9am), Whitmuir Farm (composting polytunnel) or sign our online petition
- Encourage other community members to offer their support even if they aren’t currently using the service (maybe they compost at home but can see the importance of the service for others who aren’t able to do this?)
The deadline for comments is Friday 23 March, after which we will send off a letter with all the messages of support received together with the petition to Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform as well as Ross Sharp-Dent, Waste Manager for Scottish Borders Council and Iain Gulland, Director of Zero Waste Scotland asking for their support for the continuation of this service.
2000m² run a community food waste composting scheme. We would love you to join the scheme if you live locally and are able to arrange for your food waste to be dropped off at one of the following collection points:West Linton Primary School Tuesdays and Fridays 8am-9am Newlands Primary School Thursdays 8am-9am Whitmuir Community Farm Monday- Friday 9am-4.30pm
Each community composter is given two free green caddies: a small one for the kitchen and a larger one to keep outside and bring to us in exchange for an empty one at one of our collection points. You do not have to use the same collection point every week – our scheme is flexible to make it easier for you and we collect all year round.
The food waste goes into a machine called a Big Hanna that processes the waste organically to control disease and make sure the compost that comes out is healthy and good to use.
The compost is used on our 2000m² plot where last year we grew over 2 tonnes of vegetables which we shared in the local community. It is also available for local people.
As the 2000m2 Project draws to a close, we are reflecting on the successes and challenges of the project this year. As community composters, we would like to hear your views on the food waste collection service and the impact is has had. Please let us know your views by completing our survey – see link below.
We have produced the following document to provide some guidance from what we have learnt through running this service and hope it will be useful for other communities looking to recycle their food waste: Community Food Waste Recycling