What is Community Composting?
In some ways the title says it all. Community Composting is about composting in the community! What the title doesn't reveal is that in the UK, the range of Community Composting projects is remarkable.
Community Composting schemes range from relatively small neighbourhood projects to schemes which cover large districts. Whatever the size and scale of the project, Community Composting is essentially about groups of like-minded people who want to ensure that a potential precious resource ends up as just that, rather than being sent to landfill. For details about the extent and diversity of Community Composting activity in the UK, see the comprehensive survey that was carried out as part of this project.
The glue that holds Community Compost schemes together and indeed created them in the first place is a rich and diverse body of individuals who have come together to make things happen. In many neighbourhoods, green waste might be seen as a problem. For community composters it represents a big opportunity to make good things happen.
Home and community composting is about treating biodegradable waste locally to produce mulch, soil improvers, or growing media for the benefit of the householder or community. See NRWF Household Waste Prevention Toolkit, Chapter 5: Home and Community Composting.
So what does it look like in practice? Play the video below to see a Community Compost scheme in action - Rotters in South Liverpool.
What do we mean by 'Community Composting'?The community composting sector is made up of a diverse range of groups running a wide variety of composting projects. Given this diversity it would be inappropriate and misleading to try and determine a ‘one size fits all’ definition. We wanted to provide as complete a picture as possible of the groups and activities that come under the umbrella of Community Composting. The meaning of Community Composting we used in this project contains the following characteristics:
What is Compost?Compost is "...biologically processed, stabilised and sanitised (waste) organic matter with beneficial properties for plants and soil.
A complex mix of organic matter (particularly decomposed plant cell wall constituents, cellulose and lignin and humus), microorganisms (alive, dead, and decomposed) and minerals (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and others in lesser quantities) with unique biological, chemical, and physical properties."
- Definitions from The Community Composting Guide, 2003, Green Books Ltd
Printed from: www.valuingcommunitycomposting.org.uk
This website was developed as one of the deliverables for the Defra funded Open University research project, WR0211: Unlocking the Potential of Community Composting. Information contained in it is correct at the time of publication. © The Open University, January 2009
Essential web links if you are running or thinking of running a Community Composting project:The Growing with Compost Toolkit
Home and Community Composting on the NRWF Household Waste Prevention Toolkit
Community Composting Network
Devon Community Composting Network
Community Recycling Network
London Community Recycling Network
Community Recycling Network Scotland