Primary schools in the west of the Isle of Man will be making their own peat-free compost for use in their gardens thanks to a Biosphere initiative between the Western Civic Amenity Site and Rotary Club of Douglas.
The Western Civic Amenity Site, winner of the inaugural UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man Award for energy, works closely with western schools, delivering talks, taking its education trailer to them and collecting recycling from them.
Manager Mike Rose came up with the idea to help the schools save even more waste by equipping them with Hotbin composters.
The 200-litre bins turn food, garden and other waste into compost in between 30 and 90 days, making them ideal for school terms.
As well as reducing waste, the gift means schools will have a ready supply of compost for their gardens.
All schools in the Island are Eco Schools and all are Biosphere Partners.
The initiative was launched at Peel Clothworkers’ Primary School, where its eco schools team, who tend its garden, heard from Mike and Howard Callow of the Rotary Club of Douglas about the bin.
The school’s new bin replaces its old composting bin, which was unsuitable as it could be accessed by animals and had water ingress.
Alan Crebbin, Key Stage 2 coordinator at the school, said: ‘Along with other western schools, our school is most grateful for this generous sponsorship of a composting bin.
‘We will continue to develop our school garden in 2024, growing vegetables for the Big Table initiative run by Cathedral Isle of Man. We intend to compost food waste from the school kitchen as well as children’s fruit and vegetables from snacks and packed lunches.’
Howard Callow, Secretary of Rotary Club of Douglas, said: ‘We are delighted to work with the Western Civic Amenity Site in the supply of 'hot' compost bins to primary schools in the west of the Island.
‘When we became aware, from a discussion with site manager Mike Rose, that he had a project to supply these bins to schools but needed someone to sponsor them, we immediately offered to help. The necessary funding was quickly put in place and the bins are now at schools, ready for use in the new academic year.
‘For the Rotary Club of Douglas as a Biosphere Partner, it ticked all the key boxes: sustainability, conservation and education. If this first distribution of bins is successful, perhaps the idea can be rolled out to other schools on the Island.’