The 2000m² Project food waste composting scheme has been running in the EH46 postcode for two years as part of a wider project funded by the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund (CCF). The 2000m2 Project will not receive CCF funding after March 2018, which means that communities around Romannobridge and West Linton stand to lose their local rural food waste recycling service.
There is a strong case for the continuation of the food waste composting service, either through funding from Zero Waste Scotland or by other means. Reasons for continuing to fund the scheme are as follows:
- There is strong local support. The two-year pilot project has effected behaviour change in the local area as the pilot scheme has seen 160+ households adopt a green routine of bringing their food waste for collection and recycling. These households would now be loath to send their food waste to landfill. The participants would be sad to see the service end, as it has become part of the culture of the two local primary schools and the wider community.
- The service fulfills a local need. Scottish Borders Council does not collect food waste for recycling in rural areas and their return rate for urban food waste collection is below target. This is one of very few rural food waste collection schemes and therefore it would be particularly disappointing to stop it.
- There are big environmental benefits. Food waste is a major emitter of methane, which is a more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2. Food waste composting by the 2000m2 Project has diverted over 22 tonnes of waste from landfill in two years, saving over 15 tonnes CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent of the methane saved).
- There is potential for the service to become community-run. The capital costs of the Big Hanna machine have already been covered by previous Climate Challenge Fund funding, so the cost of continuing the service this year would equate to one part-time wage. Possible sites are being looked at for rehoming the composting vessels and handing the service over to West Linton or Romannobridge communities. Funding has also been secured for a macerator which would make the service more efficient in its new location. More time is needed, though, to complete this transfer and in the meantime it is vital that the momentum gained in the last two years of the project is not lost.
We, the undersigned, urge The Scottish Government, Scottish Borders Council and Zero Waste Scotland to negotiate funding to allow the food waste composting service to continue.