Composting villagers are ‘pioneers in the county’

Denton Community Compsosting service celebrate 10 years of the scheme. Liz Cargill, right, and Anne

Denton Community Compsosting service celebrate 10 years of the scheme. Liz Cargill, right, and Anne Carden, left, with Rachel Stewart of Norfolk County Council. - Credit: Nick Butcher

It started as an idea to do something for the environment and for their community.

And in just 10 years it's helped divert nearly 150 tonnes of waste away from landfill, raised more than £6,500 and brought a whole village together.

Now those who helped to start a community composting scheme have been recognised by Norfolk County Council, with them being described as 'pioneers in the county'.

Liz Cargill and Anne Carden were inspired to set up a composting scheme for Denton, near Harleston, a decade ago. At the time there was little support available so they turned to schemes in Skegness and Devon for advice.

They held a survey through the parish council to see who would be interested in having their green waste composted and if they would volunteer to help, and from there it grew.

Now, a decade later, around 45 people have become involved with 65 homes regularly having their garden waste taken away by the volunteers.

Seven pairs of collectors take turns to tour around the village on a Sunday to collect the green waste, with more volunteers joining together on Tuesdays to help process and mix material. This is then taken through their year-long composting system, before it is ready to be distributed.

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Mrs Cargill, 60, said: 'For me it was about the environment, something we could do for the community, and being outdoors.'

She added: 'People have been very loyal, we have quite a strong core of volunteers and without them there is nothing.'

In total they have helped to have 148 tonnes of waste composted, with £6,766.31 given to the village from Norfolk County Council in credit for their work.

This has been used to buy extra equipment for the village's playground and helped to decorate the chapel, with further plans for the community to benefit from the rest of the money.

This weekend a seminar was held for community composting schemes across Norfolk, and Denton was recognised with a presentation of special flasks.

Rachel Stewart, waste reduction officer at Norfolk County Council, said: 'We wanted to acknowledge the tremendous effort of Denton community composting reaching 10 years. It is a huge achievement and an endorsement of what can be done in a community.'

The group was also there to give advice to other communities, with Geldeston, Trunch and Thurlton running schemes and two more villages looking into the process.