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Why home composting has soared 300% in Suffolk – and how to get hold of discounted bins

PUBLISHED: 07:36 14 August 2020

Demand for compost bins in Suffolk increased by 300% in coronavirus lockdown, according to Suffolk Waste Partnership figures. Picture: COLIN FINCH

Demand for compost bins in Suffolk increased by 300% in coronavirus lockdown, according to Suffolk Waste Partnership figures. Picture: COLIN FINCH

Take-up in compost bins across Suffolk soared by 300% during the coronavirus lockdown, according to latest figures.

Compost bins can help turn food waste into useful nutrients for the garden. 
Picture: SIMON FINLAY.Compost bins can help turn food waste into useful nutrients for the garden. Picture: SIMON FINLAY.

And waste chiefs are hoping homes will continue to use them and encourage others to give composting a go – with homes able to take advantage of discounts.

Most Suffolk councils were forced to suspend garden waste collections during lockdown in order to prioritise the black bin and recycling waste collections.

That meant more homes invested in a compost bin as a means of disposing of food waste. Official figures from Suffolk Waste Partnership showed that was a 300% increase in April compared to the same month last year.

James Mallinder, chairman of Suffolk Waste Partnership and cabinet member for the environment at East Suffolk Council, said: “I was really pleased to see this – a silver lining in lockdown.

James Mallinder, Conservative cabinet member for the environment at East Suffolk Council and chairman of the Suffolk Waste Partnership, urged people to take up composting. Picture: EAST SUFFOLK COUNCILJames Mallinder, Conservative cabinet member for the environment at East Suffolk Council and chairman of the Suffolk Waste Partnership, urged people to take up composting. Picture: EAST SUFFOLK COUNCIL

“I’ve been really encouraged because people have looked at alternative ways of dealing with food waste and it has so many benefits – it is using the food waste, it improves your soil, it’s cost effective, there’s no peat and has a real advantage for the garden.

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“We have declared a climate emergency, and that’s not just one person’s responsibility it’s for everyone.

“If we all throw away a little less food and it goes into compost that’s a win-win all round.”

Other benefits to composting food waste include needing to buy less pre-packaged compost, less reliance on throwing waste in other bins and benefits for garden wildlife.

Suffolk Waste Partnership has also launched schemes which allow people to buy compost bins at discounted rates, including bins under £10 and half-price bins for those who already have one.

The waste partnership is hoping to make composting as easy as possible to encourage more people to do it, and crucially make it a permanent behavioural change to improve the environment.

Mr Mallinder added: “The challenge we all have with climate and environmental issues is to break people’s ingrained behaviour.

“With lockdown we have been able to step back and think about that more and we are encouraging people who have started composting to carry on with it – once you start you want to carry that on and pass it on to other people.”

To find out how to take advantage of the compost bin offers and to find out more about how to go about composting, visit the website here.


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