SKDC happy to help with student's A-Level project

A student who chose to focus on food waste recycling for an A-Level project has been helped by South Kesteven District Council.

Polly Luscombe, 18, who attends Bourne Grammar School, is a keen recycler. Her geography course offers 20% of the total mark for a project on a subject of her choice.

"We all need to appreciate how important it is to recycle and look after the planet and I wanted to find out if people were interested in recycling their food waste," she said.

Polly contacted SKDC and its Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Dr Peter Moseley, via social media to find out more about the year-long food waste trial in which more than 4,000 homes in the district are taking part.

She visited the recycling plant at Hemswell Cliff where food waste collected in the trial is placed in an anaerobic digester to bebroken down naturally. The process produces biogas that is fed into the National Grid, while liquid residue is used to fertilise local farmland. 

"By speaking to Peter I learned how the food waste trial works, the challenges it presents, and how successful it has been," said Polly.

"It is a great idea and most people seem to want something like this to help with recycling at home.

"A lot of people my age, for example, have reusable coffee cups, and most people in my class have water bottles they reuse every day."

One of the aims of the trial, run in conjunction with Lincolnshire County Council on behalf of the Lincolnshire Waste Partnership, is to reduce the amount of recycling that is rejected because of contamination by food.

In November 2018, in the food waste trial area there was a 13% contamination rate of dry recyclables. The contamination rate in the whole of South Kesteven was 33.5%.

From June 2018, when the trial started, to January this year, more than 200 tonnes of food waste from households taking part has been recycled.

Cllr Dr Moseley said: "I hope Polly sees that we are committed to doing the right thing. We are part of a partnership and we all have to work together to come up with a joined up solution.

"I admire Polly's initiative. She has asked relevant questions about why people are interested in recycling food waste.

"I am delighted to have been able to help with her project and wish her all the very best for her future."

Food waste student_

Caption: Student Polly Luscombe is pictured (centre) with SKDC's cabinet member for Environment, Cllr Dr Peter Moseley. Also pictured are, left, the council's assistant director - commercial and operational Ian Yates, and, right, street care services administrative officer Rhys Page.