Composting cuts landfill and offers food for thought

Composting cuts landfill and offers food for thought

Merton Council is backing a new composting campaign this Compost Awareness Week (3-9 May).

The council is supporting the government-funded Waste & Resources Action Programme in their latest campaign Food for thought. The council’s contribution gives Merton residents the opportunity to buy their own compost bin at a greatly reduced price starting at £5.00.

Residents interested in buying a compost bin should log on to enter their post code and choose the one most suitable for their needs. Alternatively they can call 0845 076 0223.

Merton households produce over 75,000 tonnes of waste every year. The council has exceeded its recycling target of 30% for 2008-2009 but is continuing to encourage residents to further reduce the amount of rubbish they throw away by recycling their kitchen waste. Composting both benefits the borough’s gardens and reduces the amount of waste Merton sends to landfill.

Merton Council Interim Director for Environment and Regeneration Sarah Tanburn said: ‘Funding projects like Recycle Now is one practical way in which we can put the needs of residents first and offer them value for money. We have to further reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill, and recycling kitchen waste into compost is one way we could all make a huge difference. It’s not only beneficial for the environment, it’s good for growing healthy plants and vegetables, which in turn is good for the pocket too.’


Notes to editors:

A good compost mix contains anything from tea bags, vegetable peelings to torn up cardboard and eggshells. 6-9 months later you should find a crumbly dark material with an earthy aroma ready to be spread over you garden or allotment. Meat products, dairy foods, cooked or processed food should not be composted.

Kitchen waste in compost bins is naturally broken down by oxygen into nutrient-rich plant food. According to Recycle Now, over 30% of an average household bin can be composted at home saving 150kg of waste destined for landfill sites.

Local councils have to pay a tax for every tonne of waste they send to landfill. The amount of tax that a council has to pay depends on the weight of the material the council sends to landfill and the kind of waste the council is disposing of. The standard rate of landfill tax is £32 per tonne, up from £24 in 2007. Over the next two years the tax will increase by £8 each year, reaching £48 in 2010-2011. From 2011 the Landfill Tax will continue to increase at a standard rate still to be set by central government.

Through the Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme each Waste Disposal Authority across the country has a fixed amount of waste they can dispose of to landfill. The amount landfilled must decrease to meet European Union landfill targets. Landfill sites give off greenhouse gases so reducing landfill will reduce the release of these damaging gases into the environment.