Reducing Waste and Building Community
Over the past year, Incredible Edible Lambeth (IEL) has been delivering a Community Composting Project that enables Lambeth estate residents to divert their food waste from the general bin waste collection. So far, we have worked with residents from 7 housing estates to set up community composting sites that aim to turn everyday food waste into free compost while at the same time cutting carbon emissions! Residents can use the compost produced to enrich the soil of their estate community gardens, grow food or plants in patio containers, or even to top up the soil of their indoor potted plants.
Why Community Composting on Estates?
Housing estates in Lambeth currently do not have food waste collection. IEL has based this project off the Brighton and Hove Community Composting Project, which has successfully set up community composting across the city in an attempt to reduce the carbon footprint that takes place when food waste is put into general rubbish bins.
IEL works with a group of residents from each estate who have either been preexisting as a group or have just formed a group to engage in composting. In a lot of cases, this project has been a good way for residents to meet their neighbours and become more involved with projects on the estate. In particular, we have worked with community gardens on the estate, who have a keen interest and motivation for a compost bin.
As part of the project, we have offered workshops on non violent communication to support residents to deal with any conflict that may arise from working as a group. We have also held events including film screenings, and compost giveaways.
Each composting site has been organised in consultation with estate residents. We work in partnership with Lambeth Council to agree on site locations. Once we have agreement, we organise a build date with residents, a compost workshop and provide support throughout the project. Residents receive a free compost caddy, instructions on how to use it, and tools are provided to maintain the compost bins.
Below is a list of the estates we have been working with:
If you live on one of the above estates and are interested in getting involved, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or scan the QR code that you find on the lid of one of the compost bins. This will direct you to the group WhatsApp where you can ask a member of the group to teach you how to use the bins.
Everyone is welcome and no previous skills are required!
What’s the plan for the second year (2023-2024)?
During the first year, we identified that education was a key component to engaging with composting. For many, composting is a new concept and it can be confronting to open a bin full of rotting food, worms and bugs! In our second year, we want to engage more with children to teach them about why composting is so wonderful and exciting so that they can pass their knowledge on to their families.
We plan to work with Adventure Playgrounds and Schools to get kids into composting. We will also be increasing our engagement across the existing housing estates we have been working with to encourage use of the compost bins. We would like to support residents on estates to deliver community-led activities that builds and strengthens communities and leadership. For more information, keep updated through our newsletter.
We will be developing a guide on ‘how to start community composting on your estate’ soon so that anyone can set one up on their estate.
If you have any questions or would like to know more, you can email Megan & Orsetta: email@example.com
For updates, sign up as an IEL Member
Photo of Orsetta (left) and Megan (right) with a compost bin