Monday, 19 May 2008

The Mystery Sacks

Well Ruth was nearly there and Fumblina just that bit closer, almost bang on with the location!

The sacks which I talked about last week
are for biodegradable waste, all of which can be shredded and processed into soil improver and humus.

They were spotted in and around Stretham in East Cambridgeshire, when visiting my newly-wed friends Mr T and his wife, who as you can see was more than happy to demonstrate the rest of their household recycling facilities.

What a novel way to spend one's first day of wedded bliss eh, rooting through the recycling! (I am sorry Mrs T and feel that I should apologise profusely for the impromptu distraction).

Anyway, at risk of digressing like Ronnie Corbett in full flow...let's get back to the sacks

...and here they are all looking very lovely!

The best thing is that all sorts of stuff can go in them including:

Garden Waste (Grass Cuttings, Leaves, Hedge Trimmings, Twigs, Dead Plants & Flowers and Weeds)

Household Waste (Cardboard, Yellow Pages, Directories and Shredded Paper)

Kitchen Waste (Fruit & Vegetable Peelings, Cooked Foods, Fish & Meat Waste/Bones, Tea Bags & Coffee Grounds, Egg Shells, Stale Bread, Old Fruit & Vegetables).

Their collection is organised by East Cambridgeshire District Council, a member of the RECAP (Recycling in Cambridge and Peterborough) partnership, which won Beacon Status for Waste and Recycling in 2006/2007 and consequently shares information about good practice with other authorities.

Interestingly, where some other local authorities have issues over collecting household waste if bins are too full, East Cambridgeshire doesn't seem to have any problem with the amount of sacks that are left out. As long as the green waste is contained in the official sacks, it will be collected.

So where do all the sacks go? the huge composting vessels at the very eloquently named Waste Management Park in Cambridge no less, which is run by local company Donarbon.


It sounds all posh doesn't it?

And so it should.

After all, as I am finding out, waste is a very valuable resource that needs to be managed like any other commercial business model and not just buried in the ground.

The park is even family friendly and has an Open Day coming up on Saturday 7th June to promote Recycling and Waste Awareness. If you live nearby and are interested in going along, more information about the free event, which will be opened by Tony Juniper of Friends of the Earth, can be found by calling 01223 861010.

I know it's not quite a trip to Lego land, but with mini-bus tours, opportunities to see the composting vessels and a chance to climb into the cabs of the heavy machinery, it all sounds like a hoot...well for enthusiasts like me that is!

There is even free soil improver available, not to mention the bouncy castle, balloons and face-painting. Hmmm, I think I know where I will be heading on 7th June.

With facilities like this, I bet the people of East Cambridgeshire have very slim rubbish bins indeed.

So if you are thinking about embarking on your own rubbish diet and are coincidentally also planning a move to the East of England, then East Cambridgeshire looks to be a prime candidate as a Rubbish Dieter's hotspot, especially as cooked food, meat and fish can be "recycled" without the aid of a Bokashi bin!

I'm now getting itchy feet.

I wonder what the house prices are like!



Mrs Green said...

It sounds a wonderful scheme - it's great to see some councils taking the whole recycling business more seriously.

I think a bokashi bin is going to have to be my next purchase. We don't generate that much cooked food waste, but if I want to get my bin collections reduced, I obviously need to find a way to prevent cooked waste going into my bin. We already have rats around here as quite a few of my neighbours have chickens.....

Does a wormery cope with a little cooked waste? I just don't know enough about them..........

What a great post though; I hope other councils catch on :)

Mrs G x


Hi Mrs Green - I love the idea of the council picking up food waste. Of course householders have to be very careful and only put it out in the morning of the collection and have some storage space for it in the meantime.

With limited storage space and such a small kitchen, I find the bokashi bin works just as well for me. These days it takes around about a month to fill it up, if not longer and it is probably the most useful thing I've bought in a long time.

In answer to your question, a wormery happily copes with cooked waste. However you can't put fish or meat in it unless it's been "bokashi'd" first. You also have to be careful with citrus fruit and onions, as worms don't take kindly to them. Again the Bokashi process works on these too.

My worms are doing a superb job on the first layer which I started about 3 months ago. I am a bit dubious about the second tier and keep transplanting more worms into it.

I've noticed more and more people buying the bokashi bins. If it's any help, I'll do a round-up on the blog soon, so that you can get see how others are getting on.

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