What this document is
Describes the current and future arrangements for composting organic waste made up of kitchen and garden wastes collected by the seven north London boroughs. It also explains NLWA’s expectation that free compost will continue to be provided to local community groups.
Organic waste made up of kitchen and garden wastes (grass, branches, leaves, flowers, etc) is collected by the seven north London boroughs (constituent boroughs). About 67,000 tonnes of this waste is collected from residents every year and around 30,000 tonnes of it is made into compost at the EcoPark.
Currently more organic waste is delivered to the Edmonton EcoPark than can be processed by the composting facility. Any organic waste that is not able to be processed at Edmonton EcoPark is taken to other composting facilities outside London.
The in-vessel composting facility at the EcoPark converts this waste into compost in an enclosed environment consisting of a series of tunnels. These tunnels allow the process to be optimised so that the final compost is of the highest possible quality and is safe to use. When closed, the tunnels help to contain and reduce odours.
Inside the tunnels the natural composting process is accelerated by optimising the temperature and air supply. The microbes that are naturally present in the waste grow and produce heat. This heat raises the temperature of the waste, kills pathogens and accelerates the composting process. In only a few months the waste is converted into high quality compost. At the end of the process, the compost produced is stable, free of pathogens and is an ideal plant fertiliser/ soil conditioner.
The compost is then either returned free of charge to local community groups (allotments or schools) and boroughs (parks and gardens) or is applied to agriculture in the surrounding area. Almost half of the compost made at the EcoPark is returned to local community groups or borough councils.
The existing compost facility has been operating since 2003 and is expected to continue to operate until around 2020 when it will be demolished to make way for the proposed Energy Recovery Facility.
When the existing compost facility closes, all the organic waste will continue to be delivered to the EcoPark for bulking and transfer at the Resource Recovery Facility towards the south of the EcoPark site. It will then be transported to one or more site(s) outside London to be composted. The constituent boroughs’ collection of organic waste will continue uninterrupted.
The current trend is to build composting facilities away from residents in agricultural areas so that the compost can be easily applied to farm land.
Even when the compost is all made outside London it is expected that local community groups will continue to receive free compost deliveries.