A pilot land regeneration scheme has provided further evidence of growth potential in the quality compost market. Trials set up by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) in October 2006 have found that short and longer term cost savings were made in regeneration projects which used PAS100 compost.
WRAP programme manager for landscape and regeneration Paul Mathers said: The results we have achieved have been promising and clearly demonstrate the potential for quality compost to contribute to sustainable regeneration in the UK.
There are more than 24 sites taking part nationally, including former cokeworks, colliery sites and steelworks that are being regenerated for housing developments, woodlands and golf courses.
Each site has been trialling quality compost to test the financial, technical and environmental benefits of specifying and using the material in landscaping and regeneration projects.
Results show that cost savings of about £10 per tonne can be made when quality compost is mixed with in-situ materials. Savings are made because topsoil does not need to be to be brought to the site and no reusable site materials need to be sent to landfill.
A reduction in longer term maintenance costs has also been discovered. As compost contains slow release nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, less fertiliser is needed on sites where it has been used. Composts water retention can also help to reduce irrigation costs and plant failures.
Mathers continued: As the results show, the cost savings for projects can be significant, but the benefits dont just stop there. A recent poll carried out online revealed that people cited corporate social responsibility benefits as one of the key factors that would encourage them to specify compost in regeneration projects. Meeting recycled content targets and cost savings followed closely behind.
Image: Trailblazer growth at Lambton