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Horsham Council combats food waste with expanded Hot Bin trial

Horsham District Council is expanding its Hot Bin food recycling trial to more local participants in order to learn more about food waste recycling.

In order to gain a better understanding of how Hot Bins can be used by a broader variety of family units, the Council is expanding its trial of the Hot Bins to include 14 further Recycling Champion families and community groups.

The initial Hot Bin trial, launched back in summer 2020, ran for six months with a smaller group of families who shared with local people how using the special bin helped them reduce the amount of food waste which goes into the waste stream and turn it into home composting.

The trial this time will use both 200L and 100L bins to test capacity.

Each family will be provided with a Hot Bin suitable for the number of people in their family or community group. They are being asked to provide data and feedback on their activities, sharing their findings on social media.

The data gathered will help inform the Council as to whether this type of home composting is a viable method of reducing residual waste.

This second phase trial will be carried out in partnership with West Sussex County Council who are providing the bins for the trial.

While the Council promotes and supports the use of traditional composters as a way of reducing food waste they are able to only process food scraps such as peelings, eggshells and teabags.

Commenting on the second phase of the trial Horsham District Council Cabinet Member for Recycling and Waste Cllr Toni Bradnum said:

Currently some 40% of what residents throw away is food waste. This is a chronic waste of food and also a really bad waste of money in these current times. People really need to try and buy only what they need and not cook too much food for the number of people they are feeding.

I am really pleased that we are entering the second phase of our Hot Bin trial and am delighted that so many families and groups have volunteered to take part. We look forward to hearing their feedback, particularly from the community groups as this is the first time they have had the opportunity to trial the bins. This will really help us with our research findings.

My thanks go out to St Mark’s Church in Holbrook, one of our first community groups taking part, who are really embracing their whole community with this trial.

We aim to gather the feedback from the families taking part and use the data to inform our understanding of food recycling and perhaps explore promoting Hot Bins at a subsidised price for Horsham District residents going forward.

One of the first community groups to trial the Hot Bin is St Mark’s Church in Holbrook, Horsham.

St Mark’s Eco-Champion Helen Parks commented:

I have successfully used a Hot Bin in my garden for years for food and garden waste. We are so pleased that children from Holbrook Preschool and New View Nursery, who meet next to the church in North Heath Hall, are helping with the trial, by collecting and weighing their food waste and adding it to our Hot Bin.

We look forward to providing updates during the six month trial for more insight into how a community Hot Bin could work.

Reverend Richard Coldicott, vicar of St. Mark's Church, Holbrook, said:

We are delighted to be participating in the community phase of Horsham District Council’s Hot Bin composter trial. As a Silver Award Eco Church, now going for Gold, we are keen to do all we can to help increase recycling rates.

We will be collecting and weighing peelings, food waste, tea bags and coffee grounds from the vicarage, church and church hall for the Hot Bin. We look forward to using the compost to help us grow fruit and vegetables in the church garden to bless our community.

For more information about the Hot Bin and how it works please go to our Recycling Champions page.

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