Composting plays a key role in helping local authorities and businesses to increase recovery rates and divert waste from landfill. LARAC supports composting in all its forms and prefers it to energy recovery. However, LARAC would like to see clearer regulation, including regulation of composting that is exempt from environmental permitting to operate to the same standard as other centralised composting operations.
Standards should be fit for purpose for particular uses of compost. Home composting is the preferred means of achieving this. In areas where home composting is not an appropriate solution, food waste disposers can play a useful role in processing food waste safely and diverting it from the solid waste stream.
In terms of carbon management, LARAC would like to see further research to develop alternative products from composted biomaterials to promote peat substitution in the horticulture industry.
LARAC strongly supports the inclusion of material diverted through home composting in waste data flow figures. Householders should be encouraged to adopt home composting. Financial incentives from local authorities are not expected in the current climate but local authorities should ensure that composting equipment and information is accessible and available to residents in order to maximise the amount of garden waste diverted from the residual waste stream.
LARAC supports the use of existing facilities to manage waste. However, the large scale use of sink macerators appears impractical within the current infrastructure. It is also cost prohibitive compared with local authority food waste collection schemes.