Susan Swallow, head of the Ellon Acadamy Gardeners or EAGer bunch was excited to see us when we arrived at Ellon school with their brand new Ridan composter just after Easter. We went up to deliver to the brand new £35 million pound purpose built Academy on Tuesday the 29th of March. The plan is for all the organic waste from the kitchens to be turned into lovely rich compost for the gardens around the site. The EAGer bunch are a group of students that meet every week. Their aims are to ‘build a garden and grow lots of edible produce and encourage wildlife with flowers and habitat boxes’.
We wrapped up and braced ourselves against the Scottish climate and got the composter set up and ready for a presentation talk to school staff and members of Ellon Resource Centre. Both the school and members of the Resource Centre will have a role in maintaining the gardens and most importantly the composter. Students at the school will be responsible during term time with the daily operation of the Ridan. Their tasks will include collection of the organic food waste from the kitchen and sawdust from the Design Technology department. They will also have to load the composter, turn the handle each day as well as load the compost into the maturation bins.
Pupils from the enrichment program and some small curricular classes will be responsible for filling the RIDAN and turning the handle each day. We are thrilled to have this ability to make our own compost on site. The funding was awarded as part of an “Access to Education” grant for us to create a composting challenge. The challenge will involve other types of composting – set up as an orienteering task around the new site so watch this space for more as we build the different composting stations!
Funding for the Ridan composter came from the Bags of Help grant from Tesco.
Tesco started the scheme with money generated by the 5p carrier bag charge. The school won second place which gave them £10,000 towards setting up a composting challenge. The challenge involves multiple different types of composting set up around the school grounds, each one a base on an orienteering task. The Ridan is first base so far! We look forward to hearing about all the others as they arrive on site.
As always it is a pleasure to meet enthusiastic people who are working hard to set valuable examples to the next generation. Susan Swallow is one of the