More rubbish: this time, Composting

Compost - not my hands, but London Waste's picture, with thanks.

Compost – not my hands, but London Waste’s picture, with thanks.

UPDATE

London Waste got in touch – they do take our brown bin kitchen waste and hand it to a partner for anaerobic digestion. That’s good.

Declaration: London Waste gave me a nice little hessian goodie bag with a pen, a pump-action torch, and a green colour memory stick. Thanks!

END OF UPDATE

What, you might ask, is there to learn from visiting the place where Barnet green bin garden waste is composted in large metal tunnels? Well, you’re about to find out.

The place is called EcoPark. It’s in Edmonton, run by London Waste, a public-private partnership company set up by the North London Waste Authority ten years ago. The garden waste from the green bins is shredded and matured for about 12 weeks. Then sold to farms and distributed to residents. See an animation here

Putrefaction is a natural process. The human intervention consists of a bulldozer driver turning the material after six weeks, and a lot of ingenuity in reducing odours.

Much of the compost produced is diverted from landfill. Hooray – as it is a fantastic, natural, fertiliser.

A dream at the EcoPark is for every resident to be given their garden waste back in form of a grow-bag. What’s not to like?

Plastic bags are a bane in the process. Plastic bags don’t belong in any recycling. And they don’t belong in landfill. They don’t belong anywhere. Will it ever stop?!

Barnet’s kitchen waste is not sent here. Only the green bin waste. Why? We don’t know. Even though we have asked. We can only suppose that it is because collecting kitchen waste cannot be done on a fortnightly basis, but garden waste can wait, so there is less to collect weekly and it’s cheaper. Is it?

Our black bin waste does not come to the EcoPark for energy recovery, aka incineration. It is sent by train to landfill outside London. What is the logic if that? I don’t know either.

And how does the EcoPark send materials away from the site? It would like to use the nearby canal, if only it had the necessary (intermodal) vehicles (= appropriate containers). A bit of R+D and manufacture would be just the kind of green jobs this country needs. Who will stump up the investment money? You’re invited to.

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