environment food waste

Compost awareness week

One of the more odd awareness initiatives perhaps, but important nonetheless, the 3rd to the 9th of May has been designated Compost Awareness Week by the good people at WRAP.

Generally speaking, climate change campaigners have been slow to speak up for composting. Change your lightbulbs, cycle, re-use your plastic bags, they’re all more glamorous than asking people to sling their food scraps in a big tub in the back garden. But it’s actually an important thing to do.

Why? Because we throw away 6.7 million tonnes of food every year in the UK, a third of all the food we buy. Most of this goes to landfill, where it is buried and compressed with other rubbish. When deprived of oxygen, organic material breaks down anaerobically and releases methane, which is 25 times stronger than CO2 as a greenhouse gas. 41% of the UK’s methane emissions are from landfill, accounting for 8% of our greenhouse gas emissions.

If you compost your food scraps however, they break down aerobically and no methane is released. And of course, having a compost bin means free fertiliser for the garden and pot plants.

If you don’t compost your food waste, the council have to take it away, so they actually make it as easy as possible for people to get started. Luton Borough Council provide subsidized bins at £12, and you can see what deals your council is offering here.

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