• Cleaner Greener Wanstead

Get composting in the lockdown

Updated: Apr 24, 2020

There has been a surge of interest in composting as garden waste collections have been stopped by councils because of the coronavirus. The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) says views of its website on how to compost were up nearly 500% compared to 2019 in the first nine days of the lockdown.

With reduced waste services in Redbridge, composting is a brilliant way of dealing with kitchen and garden waste, as well as scrap paper and card.

Every year, London Local Authorities collect more than 3.6 million tons of waste. Around 70% of this is burnt or sent to landfill, generating tons of greenhouse gases. Much of Redbridge’s rubbish is shipped abroad to be processed, producing even more carbon dioxide. And more rubbish on waste collection day means more lorries, using more fuel, causing more air pollution.

But there is one simple thing households could do that would lead to a huge reduction in waste – compost! 30 to 40% of rubbish is thrown away that could be composted, including garden waste like dead leaves, grass cuttings and twigs, and kitchen waste such as fruit and veg scraps, coffee grounds and tea bags.

Composting is an easy and brilliant way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It doesn’t take up much space and produces a soil improver that’s great for the garden - perfect for growing your own! The general principle is mix around 50% soft green material (e.g. grass clippings, annual weeds, vegetable kitchen waste) with 50% woody brown material (e.g. prunings, wood chippings, shredded paper, cardboard or dead leaves).

There’s loads of information on how to do it on the internet, including a simple summary on the RHS website, or more detail at Recycle Now. Redbridge Council offers discounted compost bins here.

For Wanstead residents who don’t have space for their own compost bin, CLEANER GREENER WANSTEAD would be interested in setting up a network of shared community compost bins. If you think this would be helpful, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at: yann-corre@hotmail.com and cleanergreenerwanstead@gmail.com

If you need ideas or want to share your experiences, join our Facebook community @CLEANERGREENERWANSTEAD.

Let’s compost!

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