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Leaf composting could save Yorkshire 26,500 tonnes

It has been estimated that a simple yet incredibly effective recycling scheme could lead to 26,500 tonnes being saved from landfill in Yorkshire each year.

This is the implication from a study carried out by Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council (CMBC) which is reusing 1,000 tonnes of leaf cleaning waste and turning it into 500 tonnes of reusable compost.

While Recycling Action Yorkshire has funded the project to the tune of £20,000, the process which takes only six weeks to complete has proven of great benefit to the local authority. And if rolled out in Yorkshire and the UK as a whole, the potential is massive.

The Calderdale parks and street section initially attempted to apply 300 tonnes to Wellholme Park, Brighouse last spring and has since spent £130,000 on a capital investment to improve depots for collected green waste from roads and parks.

CMBC parks and street section support services manager Mark Dempsey said: By mixing the leaves with woodchip by a ration of four to one, the compost worked brilliantly on Wellholme Park, improving drainage and keeping it green during last Julys hot spell.

Since then we have given away 33 tonnes to the public during which time one car full left every 40 seconds over the course of the day. Around 200 volunteers have helped spread the compost on the park, it has been used as a green classroom for school activity days and a corporate business has even spread compost as part of a team building exercise.

Interest has also come from a national fertilizer company, which is set to meet with CMBC to try and incorporate some of the green points into its own procedures.

Part of the trial was to project an estimation of how much green waste could be saved from landfill in Yorkshire if done on a regional scale. All programmes like this must start somewhere and with an estimation of 26,500 in Yorkshire, it shows how much can be recycled here and in the UK as a whole, added Dempsey.

CMBC now plans to apply an increasing amount of recycled material leading up to Compost Awareness Week in May, with it also lined up to give a presentation at the event.

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