Pioneering trial to reduce food waste in Adur and Worthing

A pioneering food waste trial which will give households the chance to reduce their carbon footprint is taking place across Adur and Worthing.

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 1:13 pm

Working with West Sussex County Council, Adur & Worthing Councils have offered Hotbins to 30 householders across the area as a way to curb food waste.

The aerobic composters reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill - because bacteria breaks it down and generates heat as a by-product.

As the composting materials inside reach temperatures of between 40 and 60 degrees celsius, all food and garden waste is transformed into nutrient-rich compost in 30 to 90 days.

Andy from Lancing pictured with his Hotbin

The temperatures accelerate the rate of compost production and the ability to compost difficult food waste, such as bones, as well as kill off pathogens - maximising what nature does naturally.

As part of the trial residents have been given the Hotbins, worth about £200, in exchange for their feedback - including information about how much waste they are putting in the bins as well as their experiences using them.

If successful, residents could be offered the chance to purchase a hotbin from the councils at some point in the future.

Andy Brook, from Lancing, is one of the locals taking part in the trial. He runs a gardening blog and has written about his experiences with the Hotbin so far.

Contents of the Hotbin

He said: “As a keen gardener and Adur District Council allotment holder I’m keen to make my own composts - I have lots of raw materials and want to reduce what I throw away.

“I thought that by taking part I might inspire others to think about their own lifestyles and perhaps find room for a Hotbin in them.

“The process is clean and easy. It has become part of my gardening and food preparation routines to complete those activities by ‘popping the rest in the Hotbin’ which is outside the back door and is neat in design.

“I have ready resources of green and brown materials to compost, but now I consider or use materials I can repurpose or get in the Hotbin, like shredded paper from my office which I have previously given to a local business for their packaging.

Hotbin

Increasing levels of composting across Adur and Worthing was one of the recommendations put forward by the A&W Climate Assembly.

The recommendations look to promote efforts to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover, alongside promotion and ongoing support for initiatives like composting.

Emma Evans, Adur’s executive member for the environment, said: “It’s fantastic to know that so many households have already taken up the chance to reduce the amount of food they waste as well as their carbon footprint.

“Bacteria digests waste 32 times faster at 60 degrees celsius than at ten, so if compost takes 18 months in a cold heap it will take 18 days in a Hotbin.

“That’s why using one is a brilliant and easy way to do your bit for the environment.”

The introduction of the trial supports Adur & Worthing councils’ area-wide target to become carbon neutral by 2045.

Edward Crouch, Worthing’s executive member for digital & environmental sservices, said: “We haven’t set a date for how long the trial is going to run yet, but we will be continuously reviewing the data and feedback we get from those taking part.

“We are looking at the option of providing Hotbins for purchase for Adur and Worthing residents in the future, at a discounted rate.”