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Free compost bins for schools

Donna Beeson and Gardening Club children at William Barcroft Junior School

Budding environmentalists at six North East Lincolnshire schools now have new compost bins to help recycle food waste and keep their classroom gardens looking great.

North East Lincolnshire Council is offering compost bins to the area’s schools to help with environmental projects. Some schools have also had a set of wheelie bins to help with lessons about recycling.

Schools benefitting from the new bins include New Waltham Academy, Macaulay Primary Academy, William Barcroft Junior School, Humberston Academy, Cambridge Park, and Ormiston Maritime Academy. They will be using them to teach the children how to recycle at home and how to collect recycle food waste to help live more sustainably and help our planet.

Bin manufacturer MGB Plastics supplied the compost bins through the social value element of its contract to supply wheelie bins to households in North East Lincolnshire.

Officers from the Environmental Education team visited the schools to handover the bins. The team is available to deliver presentations and activities around the topics of recycling, litter and looking after the environment. If your school or group would like to hear more, please email them. They also have downloadable activities on the Council’s website at www.nelincs.gov.uk/bins-and-recycling/recycling-education/.

Cllr Stewart Swinburn, portfolio holder for Environment and Transport, said:

“Composting is good for your garden and the planet. From fruit and vegetable peelings to tea bags and grass clippings, about a third of the waste in your household bin can be composted.

“If you think your school or your children’s school would be interested in receiving a free compost bin or recycling bins for lessons, please email CommunityProtection@nelincs.gov.uk and put ‘FAO Education Team – Free Bins’ as the subject line.”

Jazz White, from New Waltham Academy, explained how the school’s Planet Protectors team are using the compost bins, he said:

“We have nine raised beds/planters on our school field. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, these planters have become overgrown.

“The ‘Planet Protectors’ team plan to use some of the existing plants and will use unwanted plants and weeds to make compost using compost bin provided, which we will eventually use in our planters to improve the condition of the soil.

“Each planter will have a different theme with info signs, including a sensory garden that can be enjoyed by all students but will be particularly beneficial to children with disabilities and special learning needs.

“Rejuvenating the planters will help to improve the school’s biodiversity of both plants and animals as well as provide food and shelter to a variety of animals and insects.”

Donna Beeson at William Barcroft Junior School said:

“As a school we are aiming to reduce the impact of food and garden waste by composting, so the compost bin is fantastic. The children have loved how accessible it is to use the compost bin as part of our gardening club!”

Kim Walton at Cambridge Park Academy, who received a set of recycling bins, said:

“We have started to use the bins for recycling with the students. We work on the bases of recycle and reuse wherever we can. For our bins, we will be taking the contents to a community recycle station with our students.”

Humberston Academy principal Dan Shoubridge said:

“Humberston Academy intends to significantly reduce the volume of waste we produce over the next few years. As a certified Eco School, we feel it is crucial that we take care of our local environment. These new bins will ensure we can continue to do that long into the future.”

Why compost?

Composting is an inexpensive, natural process that transforms your kitchen and garden waste into a valuable and nutrient rich food for your garden. It’s easy to make and use.

According to Recycle Now, new research has found that almost half of the food waste in the average rubbish bin could have been composted.  You can do your bit to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill or other more costly forms of treatment by composting your food and garden waste at home.

There are lots of good reasons to compost.  It saves money, saves resources, can help to improve your soil and can reduce your impact on the environment.  Did you know, composting at home for just one year can save global warming gases equivalent to all the CO2 your kettle produces annually, or your washing machine produces in three months?

Your compost is a nutrient-rich food product for your garden and will help improve soil structure, maintain moisture levels, and keep your soil’s pH balance in check while helping to suppress plant disease. It will have everything your plants need including nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and it will help buffer soils that are very acidic or alkaline. Compost improves your soil’s condition and your plants and flowers will love it!

Find out more about composting at www.recyclenow.com/reduce-waste/composting/why-compost.

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