the makery house

Fordingbridge Community Composting

What was your project and why did you apply for funding?

When Fordingbridge Greener Living initially met in 2019 one of the bigger projects that members wanted was a community composting facility based around a ‘hot’ composter. We really didn’t think we would be able to raise the funds for this ourselves, we had only really been given donations of a few hundred pounds at this stage. When the HCC Waste Reduction Grant came out, we realised that the community composting project would be a perfect fit, so we applied for the funding and were successful.

Please briefly describe how you set up the project

Fordingbridge Town Council very kindly allowed us to use an area of the allotments to site the composter and a group of volunteers prepared the site. We purchased a Ridan Composter, which is a super insulated composter – kitchen waste and wood shavings go in one end, get turned by a giant screw in the composter and a couple of weeks later come out the other end ready to go into the maturation bin. The proper composting happens over approx. 3 months in the maturation bin. We have set up the project with a closed membership. We have members who are ‘Ridan Rangers’ – members who are trained to turn and monitor the compost in the Ridan and to trouble shoot if necessary and users who bring their kitchen waste and empty it into the composter.

Having purchased the Ridan and 2 maturation bins in 2021 (Covid slowed the whole process down) we drew up risk assessments and trained the Ridan Rangers and wider members how to use the composter. We have to restrict the number of users in order to match the capacity of the composter, but for the moment there is a good balance. We purchased another maturation bin as we were generating more compost than would fit into the 2 we had. Surplus compost will go to the community garden which is also on the allotments site.

What have been your successes?

We have saved a huge amount of kitchen waste from going into the general waste system and this has been converted in usable compost for people’s gardens.

What lessons have you learnt which might be useful to other groups/organisations?

Make sure you get the budgeting right and plan the whole project including the details before applying for the funds. Do the research. When you are pretty sure you have all the basics right, go for it!

Please add anything else you think would be relevant

We are hoping to organise outreach projects with primary schools to help pupils learn about refilling, waste reduction, weights and measures, change calculation and how to run a small enterprise.

Contact The Ridan Community Composter

[email protected]

Fordingbridge Greener Living website