Reducing Waste in Adare & increasing composting
The Tidy Towns Committee are working with Greensource, a renewable energy company based in the town. We are undertaking an ambitious project to firstly reduce food waste, and secondly, to ensure that any food and organic garden waste generated is segregated from household waste before it is presented for kerb-side collection.
First things first, we needed to know how much food waste was being generated in the town and what was happening to it. There are two waste collection services available in Adare, one sends food waste to an Anaerobic Digestion (AD) Plant and the other sends food waste to be composted.
Food waste is a significant fraction of the waste stream collected annually. In 2020 a total of 8,270 tonnes of organic food waste was collected in County Limerick. This is 42kg for very person in County Limerick, and approximately 57,000kg (57t) of food and organic waste is generated in Adare town every year!
We contacted the waste collection companies and found out that approximately 27 tonnes per year is sent to the AD plant and the rest, about 30 tonnes, is composted.
However, it is estimated that only 60% of food waste is but into the correct bin with the rest going in with general waste. In March we created a leaflet to help people understand how and what to compost. We also included some easy to implement ways to reduce food waste. Buying and throwing out food hurts your pocket as well as the planet and depletes precious resources.
The Circular Economy and Industrial Ecology work off of this principal. In nature nothing is wasted, and it is not so long ago that people would never throw out anything that they could either repair, reuse or repurpose.
Composting food and organic garden waste is an example of converting a waste into a resource and completing natural cycle.
But how does that contribute to the work that Adare Tidy Towns do around the town? Well, food and garden waste are actually a much valued and precious resource. According to waste statistics published by the EPA every household in Ireland in responsible for producing 42kg of organic waste every year. For a town the size of Adare that is a whopping 57,000kg or 57 tonnes of organic waste, so should we say resource every year!!
So, we wondered, were does all of this resource go? What happens to it? If you already compost at home that is great, you are already benefitting from the wonderful fertiliser that composting produces – keep up the good work!
But if you have a brown bin collection your organic waste it is either taken to a Composting Facility or to an Anaerobic Digestion Plant.
The Adare Tidy Town Committee are working with Greensource on a long-term plan to raise awareness of avoidable food waste and to ensure this waste is put in the correct bin so that it can be properly dealt with. We want to show that small changes can make a difference. Over time we will track how much food waste is generated and how that is converted into a resource that reduces the need for imported chemical fertilisers on our other projects around the town such as planting up of flower boxes and flower beds along our beautiful public walkways.
Reducing Household Waste
Here are five simple steps you can take to reduce your waste production.