11  Green waste and composting

Leaves, grass cuttings, soft prunings, unwanted topsoil, turf etc are 'wastes' which nature recycles automatically, and need have no harmful environmental effects.  Humans, with their over-tidy habits, create large amounts of organic waste, and are not managing it so well.  About 33% of household waste could be composted, but unlike many European countries, very few UK local authorities have yet achieved a 33% rate for the total of materials they collect for recycling.  

Reduction at source by thoughtful planting and minimal maintenance, which helps to bring back wildflower meadows, can lower management costs.  This can just as easily be made to work in landscaped areas, whether roundabouts, company premises, industrial estates or stately homes.  Managers of significant land areas could also consider grazing animals instead of machine mowing; and using pigs or goats for land clearance.  This can be popular and educational for employees and help companies demonstrate commitment to the community.  Any waste remaining represents soil nutrients, mulches and conditioners; composting (shredded if necessary) should be considered as the main option.  To support wildlife, some mature wood should be left to decay naturally.

For the first time the most recycled material was compostable waste 
with over 1 million tonnes recycled (32 per cent of the total) in 2002/03, 
paper the next most common material at 30 per cent, 
followed by glass at 13 per cent  

Source: DEFRA statistics

All organic matter decomposes naturally in conditions of moisture and warmth through the action of micro-organisms.  With aeration and a well-balanced mixture of materials, this produces a soil-like substance rich in organic matter and containing plant nutrients.  The decomposition process emits mainly heat and carbon dioxide.  

What happens in landfill when organics decompose is an anaerobic process (taking place in the absence of air) that  produces a mixture which includes explosive methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and a powerful stink!

Anaerobic (airless) digestion

However, the anaerobic process can be properly controlled, and the organic fraction - about half - of municipal solid waste (MSW), and farm and food processing wastes can be treated by anaerobic digestion (AD).  With well designed heated, sealed vessels, using naturally occurring microbes, this can produce a useful organic fertiliser-rich fibre to replace the UK's badly eroded topsoil, and harness methane / biogas as a source of energy.   This process no longer need be expensive.  It also has the environmental and political advantages of replacing peat and petrochemical based fertilisers.     

Today the green waste industry has developed from compost bins (and every garden should have one!) to more complex systems to deal with higher volumes.  All aim to maximise energy and nutrients from organic waste.


Composting is a version of the aerobic process, accelerated by occasional turning and mixing with nitrogen-rich compounds.  Composting (aerobic or anaerobic) reduces the waste volume and inactivates or kills pathogens in the wastes.  The process can take place in a simple heap, or more efficiently in a ventilated container - both will build up heat inside.  It is an excellent method of recycling mixtures of green wastes, finely shredded woody material, and food scraps of vegetable origin.  Animal matter will decompose as effectively, but will smell, so a container will attract fewer unwanted four-footed visitors.

Whilst all organic waste will degrade, some wastes - especially the woody fraction of plant material - take much longer than others.  Some organic wastes are so dense or wet that they must be treated, or mixed with a bulking agent such as straw, to ensure sufficient aeration.

Since kitchen and garden refuse usually account for over 30 per cent of domestic waste, many local authorities are promoting home composting to reduce quantities for collection, often by supplying composting bins at heavily discounted prices.  Many designs are available; some incorporate features to promote more rapid decomposition, such as solar assisted heating or central core ventilation.  In the spirit of reuse and recycling, we recommend those made from recycled plastic (see section 240 - Bins containers and recycling aids).

Separate collection of organics, and large scale municipal composting operations are also being established.  One productive (but capital intensive) system is the enclosed reactor - a large, slowly rotating ‘trommel’ (drum) which under controlled conditions can produce a saleable soil conditioner, superior to peat in as little as 7 days.  Less expensive are aerated static pile systems and windrow composting - elongated heaps up to 3m high - which are turned over periodically.

Compost benefits the soil, acting as a soil conditioner, and as a slow-release fertiliser, providing nutrients which are washed through the soil by rain.  It is best used in the top few inches of soil not dug in deeply or confined in a pot.

New standards for compost

Although over 50 UK composting facilities are producing over 150,000 tonnes of compost annually, mainly recycled from garden wastes and of high quality, potential users are generally unaware of the benefits or availability of this type of compost, and need more information and assurance about its quality.

The Composting Association has reviewed current UK and EU standards and research and analysis on the quality of composts produced in the UK.  This work established a need for a UK standard specifically for compost, and a set of criteria and requirements for quality has been proposed, based on other EU standards and the needs of compost users.

The voluntary standard specifies minimum criteria for potentially toxic elements, pathogenic micro-organisms and physical contaminants, as well as other obligatory information, including product characteristics that must be stated.  Assessments include organic matter content, major plant nutrients, pH, electrical conductivity and carbon to nitrogen ratio.  Producers whose samples have met requirements, and who demonstrate satisfactory process control and monitoring, will be able to display the Association's Compost Quality symbol.  For more information, contact the Composting Association (details below).

The EU Ecolabel for Soil Improvers

The Ecolabelling Board has established a European Union wide standard for soil improvers.  Application is voluntary and producers must satisfy criteria for outstanding quality over the whole lifecycle of the product.  These include:
o  use / reuse of organic matter from collection / processing of waste materials.  Minimal weed seed content.
o  reduction of environmental damage or risks from heavy metals and nutrients.  Products must not contain sewage sludge, or exceed maximum levels of pathogens.
o  ratio of dry matter to organic matter.  Strictly limited nitrogen content.
o  no persistent odours, or fragments of glass, metal or plastic which may be a health hazard.
o  a range of information must be provided on packaging or other means (eg leaflet) with the product.  The label will state: "This product qualifies for the EU eco-label because it contributes to the reduction of soil and water pollution, and minimises waste by promoting its use or re-use."

Technical details of the standard can be obtained from the UK Ecolabelling Board
(see section 420).

If you would like to grow runner beans - perhaps as a screen - during the winter months, put peelings and other vegetable wastes in a long, shallow trench about 40 cms deep and simply cover them with soil. They will have broken down sufficiently by late May to provide a rich base for growing beans. Plant a couple of different varieties of beans for colour, and also to spread the cropping period. If in the autumn when you take out the sticks (to save them, of course!) you then leave the bean plants (which are nitrogenous) in the ground - you will have given that portion of your garden soil a real treat.

Alphabetical list of organisations

Alpheco Composting Ltd 
Tel/Fax 01473 730259  Fax 01473 730325  Mobile 07768 316214
Email alpheco@anglianet.co.uk  Website www.alpheco.co.uk  
Westhill, Copdock, IPSWICH, Suffolk IP8 3ET
Contact  Neil Winship

Manufactures original and wide range of composting containers from kitchen and doorstep to large scale industrial.  Users can choose any combination for their own needs.  Containers offer controlled composting of any biowastes in any weather.  Designed to maximise energy efficiency, eg 'MidiComp Aergestors' for skip lorries, or 'MaxiComp' for larger Rollonoff trucks.  'Biocoll' is for domestic and commercial biowaste collection, enabling source separation of 'anything that lived' to produce high quality compost at competitive prices.  Households use small 'biobins' (up to 30 litres) with lids, that can be tipped by hand into 120 litre bins on a door to door pedestrian controlled vehicle (PCV).  These bins are in turn transferred to a truck.  The putrescible wastes are mixed, and transferred to the composting vessel.  Bulky woody wastes are periodically chipped at kerbside before collection.  Satellite siting, with electronically linked operations, gives major haulage savings through economies of scale.   (Updated May 2004)

Appleton B G, Contracts

Tel 01621 815502 
Loamylands, Loamy Hill Road, Tolleshunt Major, MALDON, Essex CM9 8LS
Contact  Bernard Appleton

Collection and bulk composting of kitchen and green waste through arrangement with Maldon District Council, which receives recycling credits for preventing the material from going to landfill.  Collection vehicles tour districts on Saturdays, parking at various towns and villages for up to an hour, with operators to assist collection - free service.  Also, 4,000 wheelie bins are leased to people requesting them by Maldon District Council and Appletons operate the weekly collection service, composting and returning the material to households after 6 months for a small delivery fee.  Appletons operate a Windrow composting system producing soil conditioner and blended topsoil which is also sold, in bulk quantities.  Started 12 years ago with attention from Councils and press as the first free Saturday collection scheme in south east England.   (Updated Feb 2005)

Biffa Waste Services
Tel 01494 521221  Freephone 0800 307 307  Fax 01494 463368
Email marketing@biffa.co.uk  Website www.biffa.co.uk  
Coronation Road, Cressex , HIGH WYCOMBE, Bucks HP12 3TZ

Waste management company owned by Severn Trent plc.  Several of its landfill sites have green waste composting facilities.  Island Waste, Biffa's Isle of Wight subsidiary, recycles 15,600 tonnes of biodegradable waste every year.

Bioplex Ltd

Tel  01264 810569  Fax 01264 810131
Email enquiries@bioplex.co.uk  Websites www.bioplex.co.uk  www.safe-waste.com  
Windover Farm, Longstock, STOCKBRIDGE, Hants SO20 6DJ

Systems design engineers; recycling research and development.  Has won various innovation awards.  Designs and provides systems which, by anaerobic digestion, process organic material, residue and wastes, biomass, and fuel crops into composting and briquetting - converting to energy, fibre and organic fertilisers.  Promotes environmental and political advantages of replacing peat and petrochemical based fertilisers.  Thermophilic treatment and recycling of organic wastes using low-cost, mobile and modular 'Portagester' (costs similar to weeping wall or lagoon and separator).  Produces organic fertiliser-rich material for farmland, forestry and topsoil, especially applicable within the rural community.  Development of Portagester supported by ADAS and Reading University.  Claims machinery is compact, quiet, easy to operate; inactivates disease pathogens; carbon dioxide neutral in global warming terms; no harmful combustion emissions such as dioxins and furans.  Potential income bonus for farms able to store and spread digested material, derived from household/trade waste, on to land.  Technologies patented worldwide.  (Updated May 2004)  

Buhler Ltd
Tel 0208 440 6511  Fax 0208 441 6506
19 Station Road, NEW BARNET, Herts EN5 1NN

Process design engineers and turnkey contractors for biowaste composting plants.

Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT)

Tel 01654 705950  Fax 01654 702782  Mail order tel 01654 705959  Mail order fax 01654 705999  Shop 01654 705993
Website www.cat.org.uk  Email  (various - see website)

It is an enjoyable and educational experience to visit this seven-acre permanent exhibition of sustainable technology with residential community set in a  reclaimed slate quarry, now a wildlife haven.  Activities powered mainly by water, wind and sun.  Demonstrations of various composting systems.  Offers consultancy on practical renewable energy solutions.  Runs training courses such as renewable energy systems, self-build houses, organic growing and biological waste treatments including composting and reed bed sewerage systems.   Welcomes British and foreign stamps (still on the paper) - send to Barbara Wallace at CAT.  These are sorted then sold to dealers or collectors.  Money raised fund CAT’s environmental volunteer service.  New displays on Energy, Recycling, the Home and Work planned for 2005, and construction begins, open to the public, of new educational establishment, " the greenest building project in the UK".  Water-balanced cliff railway opens for the season on 14 March.  Demonstrations on 9 June 2005 of spinning and weaving techniques using recycled rags.  Produces many  informative newssheets, publications, and quarterly magazine Clean Slate, email cleanslate@cat.org.uk Visitor centre open every day. Gift shop near the entrance stocks many interesting goods and books - also mail order catalogue.  Cafe serves delicious organic and fair trade food on premises.  Runs membership organisation, ATA (Alternative Technology Association).  Subsidiary in Machynlleth: Quarry shop wholefoods 01654 702339 and cafe 01654 702624.   (Updated Dec 2004)

Christmas List (
Waste Watch)
Tel 0207 089 2100  Fax 0207 403 4802  Wasteline 0870 243 0136
Websites www.wastewatch.org.uk 
Email info@wastewatch.org.uk 
96 Tooley Street, LONDON SE1 2TH

Wasteline, operated by Waste Watch (see sections 130, 200, 300, 600), has produced a list of local authorities offering a tree shredding service, to 'recycle' Christmas trees in the new year.  The list is free on receipt of an A4 SAE.  A leaflet is also available on ways to reduce, reuse and recycle at Christmas.  Waste Watch is a national co-ordinating body providing training and advice for existing and potential community groups interested in waste prevention, reuse and recycling. Runs seminars and conferences, and produces regular newsletters, information sheets, the UK Recycled Products Guide, and other publications.  Wasteline is a service answering questions on all aspects of waste.  Waste Watch aims to encourage positive change in attitudes and behaviour to producing and managing waste.  Waste Watch's London network of Waste Alert Clubs help both to save businesses money and reduce waste.  The website www.wasteonline.org.uk is a useful source of information on the waste industry.  The website www.recycledproducts.org.uk includes a database of products with recycled content.   (Updated Jan 2004)

Cleanaway Ltd
Tel 01277 234567  Fax 01277 230067  
The Drive, Warley, Brentwood, ESSEX CM13 3BE

Integrated company with over 60 UK sites.  Bulk composting facility at Pitsea landfill near Basildon includes green waste collected from Essex CC civic amenity sites and recycles approaching 20,000 tonnes per year.  Some is bagged and available to the public at Essex civic amenity sites; some is marketed through other contracts to the horticulture trade.

Community Composting Network

Tel / Fax 0114 258 0483 or 0114 255 3720 
Email info@communitycompost.org  Website www.communitycompost.org 
67 Alexandra Road, SHEFFIELD S2 3EE
Contact  Nick McAllister (Co-ordinator)

Organisation promoting environmental, social and economic benefits of community composting to government and public, supporting good practice examples.  Provides support, advice, representation and information, including health and safety, throughout UK to not-for-profit, locally accountable community composters working on very diverse projects, and those considering setting up a scheme.  Organises conferences, training courses; provides quarterly newsletter, publications, guidebooks and library.  230 members.  Membership £20 for not-for-profit community groups; £100 for affiliate members including LAs and suppliers within industry.  Also offers consultancy service.  (Updated Nov 2004)

Composting Association
Tel 0870 160 3270  Fax 0870 160 3280
Website www.compost.org.uk  Email membership@compost.org.uk
Avon House, Tithe Barn Road, WELLINGBOROUGH, Northants NN8 1DH
Contact   Tony Breton, Communications Manager

National not for profit membership body researching and promoting sustainable management / aerobic treatment of organic waste (a biodegradable resource containing micro-organisms) - otherwise known as composting.  This may be a way of treating pollutants before they are returned to the environment.  Encourages people to make and use soil-enriching composts.  Collects and spreads information for the trade, and works to set standards.  Provides a united voice in UK, promoting benefits of composting to government and public, but does not answer composting enquiries from non-members. Operates certification schemes for compost and compostable packaging.  700 members from all waste sectors, including large scale composters, local authorities, suppliers, users, academics, individuals and students.  Graduated membership fees.  Members get quarterly Composting News, discounted publications, free information service, use of library, access to directory and members' area on website, reductions for conferences / training workshops.  Visits by arrangement, no visitor parking.  Separate Scottish branch.  (Updated Nov 2004)

County Mulch
Tel 01449 721729  Fax 01449 722477
Email sales@countymulch,co.uk  Website www.countymulch.co.uk  
The Watering Farm, Creeting St Mary, Needham Market, IPSWICH, Suffolk IP6 8ND

Accepts pallets, crates, timber and manufacturing off-cuts, flooring, plywood, chipboard, other woods.  Does not accept telegraph poles, railway sleepers, painted or treated wood, cable drums.  Recycles this material into animal bedding, and bark-based playground, riding arenas and path surfacing.  Contract with Suffolk County Council collecting green waste, which is turned into horticultural mulches and compost marketed locally and throughout UK.  Website has useful, simple tips on home composting.  Recycled Specifiers Guide to recycled soil conditioners and mulches on request.  Established 1986.  (Updated Feb 2005)

Tel 0207 703 5222   Fax 0207 252 7766
Website www.crispej.org.uk  Email
7-9 Brandon Street, Southwark, LONDON SE17 1NA
Contact  Richard Anderson, Director; or Armin Bobsien

Not-for-profit organisation working in partnership with Southwark Council and others to promote waste minimisation and recycling in South-East London, including green waste recycling and composting.  Provides support to local businesses, schools, higher education and community and voluntary organisations.  Seeking to establish Southwark ARC (Appliance Reuse / Recycling Centre) to establish collection, reuse and recycling of electronic and electrical waste, including CRT monitors, TVs and mobile phones, and to promote recycling/refurbishment activities to businesses, local authorities and beneficiary groups.   (Updated Aug 2004)

Cromwell Polythene Ltd

Tel 01977 686868  Fax 01977 686869
Website  www.cromwellpolythene.co.uk 
Vickers Building, Hurricane Close, Sherburn in Elmet, LEEDS LS25 6PB
Contacts  Mark Fuller,  Recycling Manager  info@cromwellpolythene.co.uk or  paul@cromwellpolythene.co.uk 

Stockist of 100% polythene refuse sacks and heavy duty sacks made from 100% recycled material.  Agents for Kraft paper sacks useful for composting schemes.  Also wheelie bins, sack holders, bin liners, carriers, bubble wrap, sheeting, strapping, cable ties.  (Updated March 2006)

Dupre Vermiculite

Tel 01332 673131  Fax 01332 677590
Email minelco.specialities@minelco.com  Website www.minelco.com/index.asp?Id=13 
Minelco Specialities Limited, Raynesway, Derby DE21 7BE, England

Composting and anaerobic treatment facilities.

East London
Community Recycling Project (ELCRP )
Tel 020 8986 5608   Fax 020 8510 9537
Email manager@elcrp-recycling.com  Website www.elcrp-recycling.com  
The Recycling Centre, 6 Muir Road, Nightingale Estate, Clapton, LONDON E5 8PG

Founded 2001.  Comprises several organisations who co-operate to provide a service greater than the sum of its parts.  Works with local authority officers, social landlords and housing associations.  National members of Community Composting Network and Community Recycling Network.   Partnership arrangements with 20 organisations including Freeform Arts Trust (provides them with glass) and a small bicycle repair and rebuild group.  Operates 'Recycling Shop'.  Becoming well known for projects such as Food Waste Composting on Nightingale Estate and 600 tonne green (Parks) waste site on Hackney Marshes, including Christmas Tree Recycling, windrow composting for mulch, and vermiculture.  First body in UK to be Environment Agency approved for Bokashi/Rocket System (Recycling Plus), heating food waste like cooked meat & fish at 60 degrees C for 6 days - safe compost is produced in 2-3 weeks.  DEFRA (SVS) approves ELCRP waste minimisation system.  Consultancy service, regular workshops and education classes on composting, recycling and the problems created by the Animal By-Products Regulation amongst others.  Re-sult offers workshops and education opportunities to anyone interested.  Run workshops for local authorities, both officers and elected councillors.   (Updated Dec 2004)

Eco-Composting Ltd

Tel 01202 593601  Fax 01202 581119
Chapel Lane, Parley, CHRISTCHURCH, Dorset BH23 6BG

40,000 tonne/year capacity four-acre hard surfaced composting plant treating green waste from Dorset CC, civic amenity sites and commercial landscape wastes.  Trials are also under way for using source separated household kitchen waste.

Ecological Sciences Ltd (EcoSci)

Tel 01392 424846  Fax 01392 425302
Email mail@ecosci.co.uk  Website www.ecosci.co.uk  
Wolfson Laboratory, Higher Hoopern Lane, EXETER, Devon EX4 4SG

Backed by Plymouth City Council and aided by DTI funding, Eco-Sci has developed an adaptable low-cost bulk composting system, economic for smaller communities.  Uses a strong 3m diameter polythene 'pod' up to 60 m long, which holds up to 200 tonnes.  Incorporates piping and timer controlled fan-blown aeration to vent moisture and carbon dioxide, and remove odour.  Controls temperature up to 70C to destroy pathogens. Process time 8-12 weeks.  With no leachate leakage, no sealed (concrete) site is needed.  Operates sites for several Devon councils, producing 20,000 tonnes of 'West Country Compost' per year, in 50 litre bags.  Services offered include ‘On-Farm’ composting system, survey and assessment, advice on pre-treatment and processing, and laboratory analysis.  Researching plant disease suppression properties of compost.  (Updated Mar 2002)

Ed Rosenthal

Tel/Fax 0208 549 0574
200 Kings Road, KINGSTON UPON THAMES, Surrey KT2 5HX

Consultancy on large scale composting.

ELCRP - see East London Community Recycling Project

Elm Farm Research Centre

Tel 01488 658298  Fax 01488 658503
Email elmfarm@efrc.com   Website www.efrc.com 
Hamstead Marshall, NEWBURY, Berks RG20 0HR

Educational charity founded 1980, developing and promoting organic farming systems.  Provides advisory service for organic farmers and those wishing to convert.  Works internationally with research bodies and universities. Produces articles for scientific papers, magazines, books, and its own journal, Bulletin.  Houses library of reference works on organic agriculture.  Based on 96ha working farm facilitating both commercial farming and community activities. Home of four independent small businesses building ecologically sound enterprises.  Runs technical farm walks, seminars, and organic food days.  Operates joint scheme with Biffa Waste Services to turn supermarket waste into compost suitable for organic farming, preventing landfill disposal - see GROWS below. (Updated Nov 2003)

EQ Waste Management
Tel 0870 560 2060 / 0990 602060  Fax 01727 867866
Email sales@eqwaste.com  Website www.eqwaste.com  (under construction)
Appspond Lane, Potters Crouch, St Albans, HERTS AL2 3NL

Collector and recycler of waste wood such as cable drums, pallets, crates, timber and manufacturing off-cuts, flooring, furniture, construction waste.  No telegraph poles, railway sleepers, painted or treated wood.  Also collects green waste, which is shredded as compost and mulch.  Produces animal bedding, recreational surfacing.  Bioremediation solutions and contracting.  Services local authority sites.  Contract screening and grinding.  (Updated Feb 2005)

Firbank Chiltern 
Tel 01582 475500 / 476600  Fax 01582 664117 / 476990
Email sales@firbanks.ltd.uk  sales@dwg.uk.com  Website www.firbanks.ltd.uk  www.dwg.uk.com 
Blackburn Road, Townsend Industrial Estate, Houghton Regis, DUNSTABLE, Beds LU5 5BQ

Trading name of Dunstable Waste Group Ltd, formed in 2003 by merger of Firbank Recycling and Chiltern Waste.  Waste disposal and recycling company operating transfer station, container hire and bulk collections.  Supplier of Firbanks woodchips in four natural colours for garden mulch, to suppress weeds and protect from frost - Tel 0800 731 9207, email woodchips@firbanks.ltd.uk - guidance on website.  Collects segregated cardboard and office waste paper, providing reduced disposal costs for most companies.  Also recycles timber, pallets, cans, metals and plastics .  Collects special wastes including chemicals, solvents, oils, medicines, liquids, aerosols.   (Updated Oct 2004)

Garotta Products

Station Mill, 71 Bute Street, LUTON, Beds

Produces aids to composting.

Green Gardener
Tel 01394 420087  Fax 01394 420064
Website www.greengardener.co.uk  Email jon@greengardener.co.uk
1 Whitmore Wood, RENDLESHAM, Suffolk IP12 2US 

Supplier, for kitchen waste, of a range of wormeries, worms for the garden, or "wormless wormery"; home composters, compost accelerators and wildlife products.  Specialist in ways to attract beneficial insects (bees, butterflies, ladybirds etc), bird food, and biological controls for garden pests. Garden equipment, ph meter, biodegradable pots.  Items only available via website, delivery 7-10 days.   (Updated Nov 2005)

HDRA  (Henry Doubleday Research Association)

Tel 0247 630 3517  Fax 0247 663 9229
Email enquiry@hdra.org.uk  Website www.hdra.org.uk 

Ryton Organic Gardens, COVENTRY, Warwickshire CV8 3LG

Europe's largest organisation (a charity with over 28,000 members) dedicated to researching, improving and promoting organic gardening, farming, food, and commercial organic growing, and offering practical advice.  Carries out scientific research into horticultural techniques that do not rely on chemicals, and regularly helps media, industry and statutory bodies.  Organic display gardens with food, gardening and gift shops selling a wide range of organic products at Ryton (Coventry), Yalding (Maidstone), and Audley End (Saffron Walden) attract thousands of visitors each year.  The heritage seed library saves hundreds of old and unusual vegetable varieties, also distributing them to members - anyone can join.  Produces, with Chase Organics, the Organic Gardening Catalogue.  Also runs the Organic Wine Club with Vinceremos Wines.  Runs workshops, potato and apple days, and organic food and wine fair.  Consultancy on large scale composting, organic and food wastes; leaf mould production; wood chipping; waste management; environmental impact assessment; organic product retailing; and organic garden design and landscaping.  Also runs international programme to promote organic practices benefiting small farmers.  Research does not involve animal experimentation.  (Updated Nov 2004)


Tel 01277 363161
t/a Lunnon Plant and Waste Service, Hallsford Bridge Industrial Estate, Stondon Road, ONGAR, Essex CM5 9RB

Bulk composting of civic amenity site green waste on behalf of Essex County Council and other clients.

Murtagh Demolition
Tel 01582 480830 / 458056  Fax 01582 482688
Email ronnie@murtagroup.swinternet.co.uk
or matt@murtagh.co.uk   Website www.murtagh.co.uk
16 Titan Court, Laporte Way, LUTON, Beds  LU4 8EF

Wood and green waste recycling using mobile tub grinder to produce mulch.  Also demolition contractor, including asbestos removal and contaminated sites.  Supplier of crushed concrete and reclaimed aggregate.  Potential source of recycled aggregate.

netcen (National Environmental Technology Centre) 

Tel 0870 190 6413  /  01235 521840 / 463806 / 463040    Fax 0870 190 6607 / 01235 463001  
Website www.netcen.co.uk , www.aeat.com/netcen/airqual/netcen.html  
Culham, ABINGDON, Oxon OX14 3DB

DTI sponsored research establishment, formed by merger of Warren Spring Laboratory with AEA Technology (see entries for AEAT and Safeguard in Radioactive wastes section 67).  Expertise in sample analysis of municipal and other mixed wastes, and plant design for separation of recyclables and large scale composting.  Offers comprehensive, integrated package of science and engineering based environmental services.  Can implement technical solutions in air quality, chemicals, contaminated land, IPPC, noise, policy and regulation, waste and web enabled information technology.  netcen is one of its divisions of AEA Technology Environment, formed 1998.  Others include Future Energy Solutions; Momenta; Environment, Health and Safety; Kinectrics; and Rail (see AEAT site: www.aeat-env.com).  (Updated Feb 2004)

Newbury District Council

Tel 01635 424400  Fax 01635 519431
Market Street, NEWBURY, Berks RG14 5LD

Fortnightly collection of kitchen and green waste from about 1000 participating households, using separate wheeled containers.  Under a contract with the nearby Elm Farm Organic Research Centre, which is paid a receiving fee, windrow composting is carried out, producing a soil conditioner for the council's own use.

Organic Resource Agency Ltd (ORA)

Tel 01684 585423  Fax 01684 585422
Email ora@o-r-a.co.uk  Website www.o-r-a.co.uk
Malvern Hills Science Park, Geraldine Road, MALVERN, Hereford & Worcester WR14 3SZ

Consultancy, engineering and research group established 1996, specialising in sustainable waste management.  Engineering, construction and management of composting facilities, bio-mechanical waste treatment systems, waste auditing, and integrated waste management systems focusing on minimisation, reuse, composting and/or anaerobic digestion, recycling of dry materials, biomechanical treatment of residual waste, recovery of energy from materials for which no markets can be found, and disposal of inert waste to landfill.  Learnt from European partners who have achieved 80% recovery rates.  Working on the GROWS project.  (Updated Nov 2003)

PLM Power Products

Tel 01543 414477
Units 5 & 6, The Shires Industrial Estate, Essington Close, LICHFIELD, Staffs, WS14 9EZ

Manufacturer of 'Brill' low speed, relatively quiet electric garden shredders.

Recycle Works
Tel 01254 820088  (helpline 9-6 Mon-Fri)  Fax 01254 820066
Website www.recycleworks.co.uk   Email sales@recycleworks.co.uk 
Unit 1, Bee Mill, Ribchester, LONGRIDGE, Lancs PR3 3XJ

Supply, design, manufacture and development of domestic composting equipment - Compost bins, shredders, worm composting and worm supplies, water butts, kitchen caddies, accessories, books.  Supplies trade sector including bulk orders.  Also organic waste composting equipment for catering businesses, B&Bs etc.  Local authorities, organic gardens, garden centres, mail order catalogues, garden and landscape designers and schools.  Useful factsheets on website, online Giveaway service for users to offer unwanted items in good condition free.  Online forum on various topics.  Established 1995.   (Updated Nov 2005)

Sai-Pac (UK) Ltd 
Tel 0208 553 4050  Fax 0208 553 5151  
Email info@saipac.com  Website www.biosacks.comwww.saipac.com
Poly House, 88 Park Road, ILFORD, Essex IG1 1SF

Supplies finished polythene bags, sacks and carriers - including biodegradable sacks for organic waste - for packaging, household and industrial use.  100% biodegradable, compostable, cornstarch- based (Din Certco and UK Compost Association approved) sacks for separating and composting green garden waste and 'fermentable household and commercial waste'.  Made of blended fully biodegradable materials, utilising 'MATER-BI' technology.  No risk of any trace elements or toxic residue remaining on composting site.  Reducing process time and costs, material biodegrades and disappears naturally over 30-40 days, producing quality compost and clean site.  Sacks range from 6.5 to 240 litres, including 'pre-printed' sacks to encourage pilot schemes and compatibility trials.  Over 2 years experience with bio- degradable sacks.  Involvement in successful pilot schemes, and repetitive use in increasing volumes, following further 2 years European experience with associate company.  Supplies local authorities, waste management companies as well as compost sites.  Can cover set up, implementation and participation; regular meetings/seminars where recycling managers keep in contact; and visits to facilities.  Website advises how easy it is to start a scheme, in line with waste strategy.  Clients include grocery, department stores, advertising, leisure and entertainment.   (Updated Oct 2004)

Universal Composting Corporation Ltd
Tel 01603 482750  Fax 01603 482751
54 Whiffler Road, NORWICH, Norfolk NR3 2AY

Feasibility studies for bulk composting of green waste; contract operation of municipal composting plants.

Waste Company Ltd

Tel 01452 308400  Fax 01452 383800
Hempstead Lane, GLOUCESTER GL2 5FR

General waste management contractor.  Manufacture and sale of compost from domestic garden waste.  ESA member.

Waste Watch -
see sections 130, 200, 300, 600 and Christmas List above

Waste Web Guide to Home Composting
Website only: www.wasteweb.com

Waste Web was set up as an information source for the waste industry, and developed in association with SWAP Recycling.  Contains a useful guide to how to create and manage a 'compost heap', and what should and should not go in it.

Wellgate Community Farm

Tel 0208 599 0415
Collier Row Road, ROMFORD RM5 2BX

Member of the National Federation of City Farms.  Static pile composting of animal waste (about 1 tonne per year) with local sale of bagged product.  Public reception banks for recyclable cans, foil, newspaper, and office paper. One paid staff member and about forty volunteers.  With support from London Borough of Havering, the farm provides education, it also provides some work experience for the mentally handicapped.

Wiggly Wigglers

Tel 01981 500391  Fax 01981 500108
Email wiggly@wigglywigglers.co.uk  Website www.wigglywigglers.co.uk
Lower Blakemere Farm, Blakemere, HEREFORDSHIRE HR2 9PX

Mail order sales of worm supplies and composting kits for internal / external use.  Range of wormeries and composters for kitchen and garden waste.  Also range of plants to encourage wildlife.  (Updated May 2004)

The Worm Worx                               
Tel 01590 626697   Mobile 07785 793344   Fax 01590 626252
Email arthurrolf@hotmail.com  Website www.thewormworx.co.uk 
Rolf Park Farm Ltd, Thorns Beech Road, BEAULIEU, Hants S042 7XL

Supplier of vermicompost from worm beds, to encourage householders to create their own small scale recycling system for food and garden waste (process described on website).  High in phosphates, potash, and urea nitrates.  Also high in humus, which - captures and fixes heavy metals so plants don't take up more than they need; helps plants overcome soil pH levels which are too high or low; and stimulates plant growth.  Good fertiliser for lawns, pot plants and vegetable gardens.  (Updated May 2004)

Worton Farms Ltd

Tel 01865 880559 / 01865 882644
Worton Rectory Farm, Cassington, WITNEY, Oxon OX8 1EB

Recycling and waste transfer station.  Production and sale of compost products from organic and green wastes.


Tel 01233 813298 / 813303   Fax 01233 813303
Email info@wyecycle.org  
Website www.wyecycle.netwww.wyecycle.org
The Green House, Unit 2a, Briar Close Industrial Estate, Bramble Lane, WYE, Kent TN25 5HB
Contact  Richard Boden

Community non-profit business.  Works on issues surrounding waste and food, to create employment and protect environments in villages of Wye with Hinxhill and Brook.  One of the longest running kerbside collections of organics in UK, begun 1990.  Collects organic kitchen and garden material weekly, and supplies the compost from this back to residents.  Works with concept of Zero Waste.  Aims at reduction of waste as best option (following UK government's stated hierarchy for action on waste).  Has reduced average household waste going to landfill to less than 260kg/yr 'by working closely within our community and with organisations and networks to find local solutions to reduce and reuse discarded materials, combined with recycling and composting'.  Projects include:  plastic bottles refilled with cleaning products at local shop;  vegetable box delivery with local organic farm;  fortnightly Wye Farmers Market;  monthly SWAP day for books, toys, bric’a’ brac and kitchenware;  furniture and electrical shop and, responding ahead of present and future waste legislation, collections for batteries (both domestic and vehicular), light bulbs and electrical equipment.  Looking to reduce their environmental footprint, runs all vehicles on Biodiesel from waste cooking oil; and equips offices only with reused PCs and furniture.  Helps community groups starting similar projects, and campaigns for sustainable waste management at local and national levels.  Website sponsored by SITA Environmental Trust UK Landfill Tax credits, and Kent County Council War on Waste Initiative.

Operates via
' 7 golden rules' re the organic fraction:
1. Treat kitchen and garden organic material as two separate waste streams, from collection to processing to use of the end product.
2. Collect all kitchen organic material; meat, dairy produce etc, as well as peelings and tea bags.
3. Collect kitchen organic material weekly.
4. Do not provide wheeled bins for garden organic material; use sacks.
5. Do not collect garden organic material free of charge.
6. Ban garden organic material from the residual waste stream.
7. Do not collect the residual waste stream weekly.

Many other materials are collected for re-use and recycling, including paper, cans, paint and cookers.  

A step-by-step guide to their community composting operation is available, based on 15 years experience with households and businesses' kitchen and garden waste.  The guide to replicating WyeCycle's process is followed by in-depth advice on the various legislative challenges and how to beat them; fully illustrated with colour photos.  (Send cheque for £12 - £1 per sale goes to Oxfam.)

A major supermarket labels its carrier bags '100% degradable', but they are made from normal, oil-based plastic with a chemical added to break the polythene down into smaller oil-based particles.  This will have environmental impact.  100% bio-degradable bags made from gm-free maize starch, are available at cost to Community Compost Network members through WyeCycle.  These bags break down in the compost heap into CO2 and water, and comply with European standard EN13432 for biodegradable materials.   (Updated Feb 2005)

Wyvern Waste Services Ltd

Tel 01823 324194  Fax 01823 325051
15-17 Silver Street, TAUNTON, Somerset TA1 3DH

General waste management contractor.  Production and sale of compost from domestic arisings.  ESA member.

Yew Clippings Ltd

Tel 01308 485693 / 01308 485969  Fax 01308 485614
Milton Mill, West Milton, BRIDPORT, Dorset DT6 3SN

Purchaser of yew clippings for supply to the pharmaceutical industry for extraction of Baccatine - a valuable anti-cancer treatment drug used in Taxol and Taxotere.  Same day collection arrangement for quantities of 25kg upwards, paying £0.35-£0.50 per kg.  (Note: a 2-metre high hedge provides about 3kg of clippings per metre length.)