Back in July 2018, we delivered a Ridan Composter to Christ Church University in Kent and two years on The Ridan has become a focal point for their war on waste.
‘We’re very hot on sustainability here’, Student Union Project’s Coordinator, Ellie Martin explains, ‘we’re all about looking after the environment but we’re also about looking after ourselves’.
‘We were just starting up a Well-Being Garden. A place for students and staff to do gardening, or to hang out and reflect. So it all coincided quite nicely’.
‘Before the Ridan arrived we were paying a contractor to collect our food waste and drive it to the other side of the county to be incinerated’.
‘Now we have a Ridan, that’s big enough to compost all the Canterbury Campus food hall waste, on site, with zero carbon emissions’
‘We also love the volunteering aspect of it’.
The Ridan has become more than a hub for recycling on campus.
‘On its first anniversary in July 2019, we arranged a special celebration’ ….
‘We’d been composting for a year but we’d never actually cracked open the maturation bins and really tested the compost.’
Records showed, in the first year The Ridan digested well over 4,000 litres of food waste and created over 900 litres of compost.
The campus allotment got its own share of the Ridan’s riches and the Student Union’s yearly crop of hops thrived.
And unexpected tomato plants sprung up in amongst the wildflowers in the Well-Being Garden
Covid-19 has caused a little blip in compost production but whilst the Ridan’s gone a bit hungry, the groundsmen and women have kept it ticking over by turning the handle whenever they’re passing.
‘It will be interesting to see how the virtual world affects us all. Although we’re re-opening campus in September, a lot of stuff will be online. Not everyone will be on campus as much as they used to be’
But Ellie’s still very optimistic about future on-campus composting.
‘We’re excited to be one of the first universities to be composting our food waste on site’.
‘From our point of view, the Ridan’s been a great success’.
‘With other food outlets on our Canterbury and Medway campuses, we have this vision of a little fleet of Ridans’ dotted about. We’re not quite at the stage where we’re growing enough produce to use in the canteen yet but that would be the dream’.