St Helier Parish food waste produces wonderful compost

October 30th, 2010 by Richard Lord

Tony Andrews of the Parish of St Helier Municipal Services removes the food waste bin from the shredder (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

compostable bags used to collect food waste didn't work as hoped with the Rocket composter (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Food waste is collected from St Helier households in certain districts on a voluntary basis.

Initially the participating households were provided with biodegradable bags and a caddy for the kitchen, and to put out on the street for collection.

Early trials showed that the biodegradable bags got caught in the blades of the shredder so households were asked to wrap their food waste in newspaper and place it in the caddy.

The blades of the food waste shredder at the St Helier Municipal Services Depot (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Food waste is composted together with green waste. The green waste includes pieces of wood from cut branches and twigs, which balances the carbon and nitrogen in the mixture.

The opening of the Rocket composter showing where the food and green waste enters the machine and the auger (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

An accelerant is added to the mixture in the Rocket Composter, which allows good quality compost to be produced in about three weeks.

Rocket Composters are not large machines.

They are ideally suited to handle the volume of food waste from a supermarket, a school or a small housing estate.

Larger in-vessel composters are available from other manufacturers to handle the volume of food waste produced by a community.

Tony Andrews takes a shovel to the excellent quality compost produced by the Rocket Composter (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

A shovel of high quality compost made from food and green waste in the Rocket Composter by St Helier Municipal Services (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

The compost is used on St Helier’s parks and gardens.  The compost bin at St Helier Municipal Services Depot has an open bottom, which allows worms and wood lice to colonise the high quality compost.

The Parish of St Helier's new garbage truck that also collects recyclates (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

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