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Proposal to Bring Composting to the Community

A proposed scheme to use £200,000 to support community composting schemes will be discussed by the Executive Committee at South Hams District Council on Thursday 3 March.

Composting Boxes

The scheme, if agreed, would be designed to support up to six new community composting sites each year, and will continue to support existing groups, to compost their waste locally.

A range of practical help and information would support the local groups over a two-year period, along with funding for set up costs to the value of £7,500 on a match-funded basis.

So what exactly are community composting sites? Community compost sites are local sites where South Hams' residents could go to recycle their garden waste. The sites then store and process the collected green waste. Usually kept in compost bays with the finished product called a 'soil conditioner', which are then used locally to fertilise soil for the best growing conditions. Residents would then be able to benefit from the fertilised soil on their own gardens and allotments.

The Council's Grounds Maintenance Team would visit up to eight times a year to provide a 'turning and shredding' service using heavy machinery. This use of Council machinery would result in huge savings for these groups, while also reducing safety concerns.

Run by volunteers, the sites would be self-sufficient and mostly funded by donations from the local community.

By creating groups spread across the District, it would support gardeners and allotment users, but also encourage recycling awareness and education. Often these locally run schemes benefit from volunteer opportunities and training which would be beneficial for economic development.

Cllr Keith Baldry, South Hams District Council's Executive Member for Environment, said: "This is a really positive scheme that has the potential to address the need for community-based recycling of green waste that is easy to access for our residents.

"It's a win-win for us as we'll be helping to bring community groups together to recycle, but also offering a way to get volunteers working together. It would be good to get all ages involved in this project with education and sharing of skills."

To make sure residents across the South Hams would have the best possible access to recycle their green waste at a community compost site, the Council would be looking to prioritise sites across the District.

Read more about the report and watch the Executive meeting live here: www.southhams.gov.uk/Executive

Published 23 February 2022

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