Pioneer recyling role for Norwich school

Tara GreavesA school near Norwich has become the first in Norfolk to have its cooked food waste collected for recycling.Tara Greaves

A school near Norwich has become the first in Norfolk to have its cooked food waste collected for recycling.

Arden Grove Infants and Nursery, in Hellesdon, will continue to compost its own uncooked fruit and vegetable peelings and use the resulting compost on its gardens but now cooked leftovers, meat and fish bones will be collected by Broadland Council.

The waste will then be treated and made into compost suitable for agricultural use.

Daniel Thrower, headteacher, said: 'We are delighted to have been approached by Broadland. The school has recently just gained its second Green Flag from Eco-Schools and we are already planning to use this new initiative to help us achieve our third Green Flag in two years time. It is good to be working in partnership with the district council who support eco initiatives within the local community.'

The school will also carry out a four week waste audit to see which meals create the most leftovers and come up with an action plan, with help from the council, to try and reduce the amount.

John Fisher, the council's portfolio holder for environmental policy development, said: 'The school is very environmentally aware and staff have been particularly active in looking for new initiatives. We're delighted to be able to offer this service.'

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Broadland plans to extend the service to more schools in the coming months.

New residential food waste collections in the district are already seeing some of the highest participation rates in the country with an average of 83pc of households taking part, where available.

Andy Jarvis, head of environmental services at the council, said: 'Residents have embraced this service and are showing it by their participation - although there is still a role for home composting and reducing waste.'

About 23 tonnes of material is being collected each week - avoiding an estimated 10 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions compared with landfill disposal.

After collection the waste is taken to a licensed food composting facility where it is treated to ensure the finished product can be used for local agricultural purposes.

The scheme benefits from financial support from Norfolk County Council.