Putney Primary gets composting

as they join in with International Composting Awareness Week


If you are interested in joining Recycle Western Riverside’s ‘Recycle at School’ programme please contact Melanie Ducret on 020 7549 0334 or email melanied@wastewatch.org.uk


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As part of International Composting Awareness Week, Recycle Western Riverside has been working with Hotham Primary school in the borough of Wandsworth to promote composting. Education officers from Recycle Western Riverside visited Hotham School on Tuesday 3rd May to run composting activities.

Up to 40% of school rubbish is food waste. Since the introduction of the National Fruit Scheme, great quantities of fruit peelings end up in the bin every day. When these go to landfill, they can’t break down properly and give out methane gas, which is a major greenhouse gas and thus one of the main causes of global warming. Methane traps over 21 more times heat than carbon dioxide. Using a compost bin in schools could dramatically decrease the amount of rubbish sent to landfill, have wider environmental benefits such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and at the same time offer plenty of opportunities for learning.

At Hotham Primary School (pictured left) the children started by separating waste items for putting into the compost bin from a wide range of school materials. They were then able to experiment with different types of rubbish to work out whether they would or wouldn’t compost by burying each material in a mini compost bin. After making initial observations, the children were asked to look at these materials again in 2 to 3 weeks. During the school’s after–school eco- club parents were invited to talk about composting issues with the Recycle Western Riverside education officer and plant sun flower seeds with the children in the finished compost.

Pam Young Head Teacher Hotham Primary School says “Children and teachers at our school have been enthusiastically collecting all the fruit and vegetable peelings for the school compost bin. The visit from the Recycle Western Riverside education officers gave us a real boost to continue composting.”

Melanie Chew, Education Officer for Recycle Western Riverside, says “Within six to twelve months of starting a composting bin, schools will have an excellent soil improver to nourish the school grounds, saving on the cost of buying compost and fertilisers.”

May 12, 2005