Mortimer St John’s Infant School Eco Warriors have a strong opinion about pollution, climate change and damage to our world, they want to do everything in their power to prevent it. They are fully supported in their cause by school staff and parents.
So when a waste audit revealed that most of the school waste was food, which if sent to landfill is extremely polluting, they formulated a plan and started raising money to buy a Ridan food waste composter.
A fun run and some donations got things going, then local business AWE Atomic Weapons Establishment chipped in as did the Greenham Common Trust and the Good Exchange
Debbie Bale has headed up the ‘Eco Warrior’ army and here is her advice…
‘We bought our Medium Ridan & 2 maturation boxes in January 2019 after fundraising for 6 months. We were lucky to secure funding from local trusts & one agreed to match what we could raise. We did a fun run & walk as the main part of our fundraising. To buy green food waste caddies for each classroom we sold donated second-hand uniform .
7 caddies cost approx £35
We have about 180 pupils in our infant school.
One eco warrior from each class meet after lunch with their green food caddy & a member of staff collects the food waste from the kitchen & takes the children to the compost area. The adult tips the food waste in & the children turn the handle. The children scoop out the sawdust into buckets & the adult tips it in. Sometimes the children read the thermometer to check the composer temperature.
We get sawdust free from a local mill but we pay £10 delivery cost. We have enough delivered to last approx 1 month .
We are pleased with our processes & really pleased with how well the Ridan works. The 2 boxes work well for us as we filled the first box half way & then started to fill the second box. We think our first box is ready now (March 2019).
We already had a black bucket, found some gloves & a dustpan brush ( to sweep up when we’ve finished turning so we don’t get unwanted guests.
The first batch of compost is going into our raised beds next week. Then after that we plan to plant sunflowers seeds in the compost & sell the plants in the playground to the parents.
We changed our bin collection with Veolia & managed to get rid of one 1100 liter general waste wheelie bin saving approx £500 a year. We managed to save a further £400 a year by finding a local paper recycling company who collect our paper & card waste for free!
In maths, students will be measuring & recording the temperature inside the Ridan and using the data to create a graph using the waste audit data pre-composter & post-composter.
Drawing mini beasts you find inside the composter. As well as lots of other lovely Eco topics.
Lastly we will be having our first Eco week after the Easter holidays.’
Food waste audit revealed that 140 liters of food waste was being trucked away every week.