After switching to compostable catering consumables to reduce plastic waste, a Scottish college has installed two on-site food waste composters from Tidy Planet to turn its waste into a resource.
Dundee and Angus College invested in a second of Macclesfield-based Tidy Planet’s Rocket Composters after the first helped to successfully compost over 70 tonnes of food waste since 2015.
The College began its sustainability journey when it switched to Vegware compostable catering consumables. The packaging shift drove the college to seek technology that would allow it to introduce a self-directed and closed-loop food waste management solution.
Feed material made from the compostable tableware and food waste is shredded and de-watered before being blended with green wastes and composted, resulting in a nutrient-rich soil resource which is then used in the horticultural department on-site.
With a second composter now installed, Jackie Beresford, environmental officer at Dundee and Angus College, said: “The additional unit not only ensures we have enough capacity to treat all our food wastes, but it also allows us to compost all year round.
“Therefore, we are not only cutting out waste transportation costs and further decreasing our carbon emissions, but students are benefitting from having a real-time composting process at their fingertips.”
‘Closing the loop’
The College’s innovative approach scooped the ‘Best Food Waste Initiative’ award from the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) in 2018.
Huw Crampton, sales manager at Tidy Planet, added: “The College’s small-scale composting example is a great working illustration of the benefits of closing the organic waste loop – effectively demonstrating how one of the most commonly produced wastes can easily be recycled at source.
“And with the worldwide shift away from single-use plastics, it’s a solution that an increasing number of organisations are looking into.”