In order to address a few local issues, we are considering whether to install a bio digester to process allotment and food waste. The photograph shown is for illustrative purposes only.


Recently, the Government announced the intention that all households will have the ability to have their food waste collected as a separate collection to the normal landfill / recycling / green waste collections.

At the same time, DEFRA announced a scheme to enable small projects to reduce food waste and to promote a more ecological and sustainable way of living.

This led to the thought that we have an opportunity to take advantage of this and to address the issues noted above by applying for funding to install a digester that will take household food waste (if members and neighbouring residents choose to bring that in) and compostable waste (including wood -i.e. tree clippings and chippings) in order to create our own compost in a matter of weeks!

This would help to address some issues we have experienced in the recent past including:

  • Complaints about manure smells / on common land
  • Complaints about burning waste materials
  • Difficulty in making compost
  • Bought in compost can be very expensive
  • Compost heaps can attract rats

The following is a brief ‘brain dump’ of our options and considerations

  • Stop manure being dropped outside of allotments (allowable at the East Gate only)
  • Ask the allotment holders as to why we like to have fires
    • Easy way to remove materials
    • Hygienic way of destroying diseased plants
    • To generate wood ash for using on the ground
    • Because we can
  • Look for a contract with a compost supplier to provide enough compost
    • Storage
    • Costs
    • Volumes available
  • Make our own compost with an industrial digester
    • Requires a large volume of materials -easily obtained from allotment holders
    • Can digest food waste as well as plant materials
    • Could replace the need to bring in manure (which is unrottedand not recommended for immediate use on allotments for a minimum of 1 year, and for which we have received complaints)
    • Could be sold back to members at the same rate as manure (i.e. 50p per barrowfull)
    • Could reduce / remove the need to burn materials on site (reducing complaints)

Things that will need to be considered:

  • Need to find somewhere for this to ‘live’
    • Suggest: where the old shed was
    • Suggest: on the quarter plot at the rear of the shed
    • Suggest: East Gate
  • Will need electricity
    • Can this be included in the grant application?
    • Should this be / can this be renewable?
    • If it can’t be renewable, could we have a new connection supplied?
  • We will need to store any waste to be processed
    • Metal bins are rat proof and can be bought inexpensively
  • Someone will need to be responsible for ensuring it is run properly

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