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Driving Sustainable Waste Management in Northern Ireland-Home Composting of "Green Garden Waste" in Castlereagh

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Castlereagh Borough Council (Castlereagh BC) borders with Belfast in the east of Northern Ireland and serves a population of approximately 67,500. There are approximately 28,500 properties in the borough and 80% of households lie within urban areas. In 2007/8, Castlereagh BC had a household waste recycling and composting rate of 37.69%. In 2007/8, 19,603 tonnes of household waste was landfilled this equates to 0.69 tonnes per household. The Council actively promotes Home Composting of green garden waste as a method of waste reduction and has offered a subsidised rate on the sale of Home Composters. In order to evaluate whether this subsidisation is justified, a survey was carried out on all householders that have purchased a Home Composters. It was hoped that this survey would provide information on whether householders who had purchased Home Composters from the Council were actually using them, whilst also gauging whether householders are aware of the relationship between composting and diversion from landfill. Some 96% of respondents that purchased Home Composters are still using them. This is extremely encouraging and demonstrates that they would appear to be satisfied with their Home Composting experiences. Respondents (92%) stated that they noticed a decrease in the amount of their waste being sent for landfill/composting through the kerbside collections, this demonstrates that they are aware of the relationship between Home Composting and diversion from landfill. Some 86% of householders feel that they are using their Home Composter successfully and 93% of householders were satisfied with the scheme. However, 17% of householders complained about composter design and 16% found it difficult to use. Size, mobility and the unattached lid were of main concern. The results will be used to drive enhanced campaigns for the uptake of home composting of green garden waste.
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Keywords: Garden Waste; Home composting; Landfill; Organic; Reuse; Waste Prevention

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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