Green team turns out for launch of new waste project

A new compost scheme has been set up in Hales near Loddon and was formerly opened by Sir Nicholas Ba

A new compost scheme has been set up in Hales near Loddon and was formerly opened by Sir Nicholas Bacon.Sir Nicholas Bacon opens the scheme with Alan Mason (scheme coordinator) - Credit: Nick Butcher

A free waste collection service which aims to turn tonnes of green garden rubbish into compost has begun in South Norfolk.

The Hales and Heckingham scheme will be run by volunteers including parish councillors and residents and is the fifth to be set up in the county.

Those who sign up to the new service will be supplied with bags to fill with garden waste such as prunings and grass cuttings.

Their bags will be collected by volunteers and taken to the composting site on the Raveningham Estate which consists of 18 separate composting bays. Depending on the volume and composition of waste, the processing techniques used and the weather, the waste can be turned into compost in three to nine months.

The service is supported through Norfolk County Council’s recycling credits scheme which pays £53.62 for every tonne of waste collected from residents.

Alan Mason from Hales and Heckingham Parish Council said: “There is no doubt that setting up this scheme has involved a great deal of hard work and commitment from our community composting team.

“We have also learned a great deal along the way - from securing the right land and getting planning permission, to building the composting site and getting the collection schedules sorted out.

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“Running the scheme will also involve hard work, but that’s where the benefits will start to pay off. Donations for our compost and the recycling credits we’ll receive from the county council will generate a valuable income for us - money that we can put to good use in our community.”

Margaret Somerville, Norfolk County Councillor for Clavering said: “Local schemes like this are incredibly important.

“They divert waste entirely away from the county’s waste management system, which reduces costs and improves efficiency. They are a source of vital funding for communities and they turn rubbish into a useful new product because, after all, composting is simply another version of recycling.

Norfolk’s other community composting schemes at Trunch, Denton, Geldeston and Thurlton have diverted nearly 500 tonnes of green waste from the county’s waste management system during the past 11 years.

They have also received £23,500 of recycling credits which have been used to benefit local communities,