UK group turns leftover food waste into fertilizer for organic gardens

Saturday, June 25, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: food waste, fertilizer, health news

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(NaturalNews) Countless millions of pounds of leftover food go to waste every single year around the world, and a UK group has decided to put that waste to good use. Utilizing a roughly $1.2 million grant given to it from a waste minimization organization, the CWM Harry Land Trust, an environmental and social charity group, now collects food waste from 13,500 homes in Wales and turns it into 200 tons of organic compost -- and thanks to much success thus far, it plans to expand the program even further.

According to the trust's website, the group supplies food waste collection bins to homes, restaurants, hotels, schools, and various other businesses, and picks them up throughout the week for processing. The waste is taken to an enclosed, temperature-controlled composting unit where it is carefully processed into high-quality fertilizer that many local farmers, and even the trust's own organic allotment, use to improve soil quality.

"Every year it's estimated that we produce in excess of four million tons of food waste across the UK," said David Clarke, the trust's project manager, to the UK's Daily Post. "This is waste that could be recycled and used to benefit everyone in the production of organic fruit and vegetables -- taking the food chain full circle."

The trust's organic allotment, which also uses the composted waste, teaches people how to grow seasonal produce that is then sold as part of a vegetable box scheme, which involves customers buying a box of fresh produce that is delivered to them periodically. Many community supported agriculture (CSA) programs throughout the US also utilize vegetable box schemes as a way to increase the availability of local produce to customers.

The trust also says that its collection service is beneficial to the people that participate in it, as it reduces waste odor and allows users to efficiently separate food waste from other waste.

"It's great to see that CWM Harry are actively encouraging people to sign up to its free food collection service so it can compost this waste material to use on its land," said Lance Jones of Wrap Cymru, a UK recycling group, to the Daily Post. "They're closing the loop on waste and championing the health and taste benefits of buying local food."

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