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    As the festive season approaches, the concept of eco-friendly celebrations is gaining momentum. One of the key aspects of this green revolution is the use of compostable Christmas decorations. In this article, we explore various ideas and tips for incorporating compostable decorations into your Christmas festivities, aligning with the increasingly popular trend of sustainable living.

    Why Choose Compostable Decorations?

    Compostable Christmas decorations are not only environmentally friendly, but they also offer a creative and unique touch to your holiday decor. By opting for compostable options, you contribute to reducing waste, minimising your carbon footprint, and supporting sustainable practices.

    DIY Compostable Decor Ideas

    Homemade compostable decorations are not just eco-friendly, they’re also a fun way to engage with family and friends. Here are a few fun DIY ideas, which can make a really festive impact on your home.

    Natural Compostable Wreath

    Compostable Christmas Decorations

    Materials Needed:


    1. Create the Base: Shape your flexible branches into a circle and secure the ends with twine.
    2. Attach Greenery: Take your greenery and attach it to the frame with twine. Start from one point and work around the circle, ensuring that each new bunch overlaps the stems of the previous one to hide the wire/twine.
    3. Add Decorations: Once the greenery is in place, add your pine cones, dried orange slices, cinnamon sticks, and berries. Secure these with additional twine.
    4. Hang Your Wreath: Attach a piece of twine for hanging, or simply use the frame itself to hang the wreath.

    Fabric Ribbons from Natural Fibres

    Fabric Ribbons from Natural Fibres

    Materials Needed:


    1. Cut the Fabric: Cut the fabric into long strips of your desired width for ribbons.
    2. Optional Dyeing: If you wish to colour your ribbons, use natural dyes made from berries, beets, or other natural sources.
    3. Use as Decor: Tie your fabric ribbons around your tree, wreath, or use them to wrap gifts.

    Paper Stars and Garlands

    Paper Stars and Garlands

    Materials Needed:

    Instructions for Paper Stars:

    1. Cut Star Shapes: Cut the paper into star shapes. You can fold the paper to cut symmetrical stars.
    2. String the Stars: Punch a small hole at one point of each star and string them onto the twine.

    Instructions for Paper Garlands:

    1. Cut Paper Strips: Cut long strips of paper.
    2. Create Paper Rings: Form the strips into loops and secure them by stapling or gluing the ends. Loop each new strip through the previous one to create a chain effect.

    Purchasing Compostable Decorations

    For those who prefer ready-made options, there are numerous eco-friendly brands offering compostable Christmas decorations. Look for decorations made from materials like bamboo, recycled paper, or natural fabrics.

    Composting Post-Holiday

    Post-Christmas, ensure your compostable decorations are disposed of correctly. Composting them is a fantastic way to return nutrients to the earth and close the loop in your sustainable holiday cycle.

    Compostable Christmas decorations are a wonderful way to celebrate the festive season while being kind to our planet. They can be a fun family activity and are a great way to involve children in learning about sustainability during the holiday season. Remember, the key is to use materials that can be easily composted or recycled after the holidays, ensuring a green and environmentally friendly celebration.

    By choosing sustainable decor options, you’re playing a part in preserving the environment for future generations. Embrace this eco-friendly trend and make your Christmas a green, compostable celebration!

    Wastewise, part of the Urbaser Group, who provides waste management solutions for over 1.2 million households across Cheshire and Yorkshire, is pleased to provide an update on the ongoing development of the Leighton Grange Solar Farm project.

    With a generating capacity of 4.1 megawatts, the solar farm represents the realisation of a comprehensive project developed in collaboration with Cheshire East Council. When complete, the initiative will provide renewable energy to power 60% of the in-vessel composting (IVC) facility, operated by Wastewise, thereby enhancing the site’s sustainable waste management practices. Any surplus green energy will be channelled into the national grid.

    Located adjacent to the IVC facility, the solar farm not only provides a cost-effective solution for our Cheshire operations, it is strategically designed to optimise resource utilisation and minimise the facility’s carbon footprint. It also aligns with Cheshire East Council’s goal of attaining carbon neutrality for its operations by 2025, and the wider borough by 2045.

    Bob Wilkes, Managing Director of Wastewise, confirmed, “Work is currently in progress on the construction of the compound and panel storage area, and we are delighted to report that the solar panels have already arrived in the UK.

    “We are truly thrilled to see this project taking shape. Collaborating with Cheshire East Council to introduce a renewable power source into the waste recycling process is a significant milestone. It sets a positive example to local residents on responsible waste handling, and we are proud to be part of this initiative.”

    Councillor Mick Warren, chair of Cheshire East Council’s environment and communities committee, said, “This is a very positive example of how the council is working in partnership with suppliers and businesses to reduce their environmental impact, whilst reducing the carbon emissions from the services we provide to residents.”

    The Leighton Grange IVC facility, owned by Cheshire East Council and developed in partnership with Wastewise, has been fully operational since June 2020. With the capacity to process up to 90,000 tonnes of food and garden waste annually, over 95% of waste inputs are transformed into high-quality BSI PAS 100 certified compost, benefiting horticultural, agricultural, and landscaping sectors. The remaining waste is either recycled or undergoes energy recovery, exemplifying Cheshire East Council’s comprehensive approach to sustainable waste management.

    The solar farm is expected to be operational in early 2024.

    Are you looking to reduce food waste at home and play your part in conserving the environment? You’re in the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through some simple steps you can take to curb waste and how composting can be a game-changer.


    Why It’s Important to Reduce Food Waste

    When you reduce food waste, you’re not just saving money; you’re also: Helping Combat Climate Change (decomposing food in landfills produces methane, a harmful greenhouse gas); Conserving Resources (wasting food means wasted water, energy, and labour that went into its production); and Supporting Ethics (with millions hungry, reducing food waste is a step towards a just society).


    Easy-to-Follow Tips to Reduce Food Waste


    The Composting Connection

    Composting is an integral part of the solution to reduce food waste. Starting a compost bin at home allows you to recycle kitchen scraps, turning them into nutrient-rich soil additives. For effective composting, it’s essential to maintain a balance between ‘greens’ (nitrogen-rich materials) and ‘browns’ (carbon-rich materials) to ensure optimal decomposition. This rich compost not only enriches garden soil, making it more fertile, but it also helps the soil retain moisture more effectively, reducing the need for frequent watering. Furthermore, by composting, we significantly reduce the volume of food waste that would otherwise head to the landfill.


    In Conclusion

    To reduce food waste is not only an economic choice but an environmental and ethical imperative. Couple that with composting, and you have a holistic approach to sustainable living. Start with one tip, and gradually incorporate more into your routine. Every step counts in our collective effort to reduce food waste and create a greener planet.

    Our composting facility here at Waste Wise is a beacon of sustainable waste management, transforming organic waste into nutrient-rich compost, promoting both waste reduction and environmental preservation. As the article underscores the significance of minimising food waste and the advantages of composting at a personal level, Waste Wise showcases this on a larger scale. Our innovative composting techniques mirror the easy tips provided, offering a real-world example of how these practices can be amplified to manage waste efficiently and sustainably in commercial settings.

    In the realm of eco-friendly products, two terms often get intertwined or mistaken for one another: biodegradable and compostable. While both sound like ideal solutions for our waste problem, understanding their distinctions is important for sustainable choices. This article delves into the differences between biodegradable and compostable materials, aiming to debunk common misconceptions.


    Definitions: Biodegradable vs Compostable

    Biodegradable products break down and return to nature. Ideally, over time, they degrade from the actions of naturally occurring microorganisms like bacteria and fungi. However, the duration and by-products of this decomposition can vary widely. Items can take anywhere from a few days to years to break down, depending on the environmental conditions and materials in question.

    Compostable items, on the other hand, are organic substances that can be used as a soil additive post decomposition. For an item to be labelled as compostable, it generally should decompose in a compost setting within 90 days. Moreover, it should not release harmful residues and should be capable of supporting plant life.


    Environmental Impact

    Biodegradable products are designed to break down into natural elements, which means they might not persist in the environment as long as non-degradable products. But just because an item is biodegradable doesn’t mean it’s free from environmental harm. There are a number of challenges:-

    Ambiguous Timeframe: “Biodegradable” does not provide a specific timeframe for decomposition. Some products might take years or even decades to break down.

    Toxic Residues: While biodegradable products break down, they may release toxic residues or pollutants. Some so-called biodegradable plastics degrade into microplastics, tiny fragments that can persist in the environment and harm marine life.

    Methane Emissions: Like compostable products, if biodegradable items end up in anaerobic environments like landfills, they can produce methane.

    False Security: The term “biodegradable” can sometimes offer consumers a false sense of eco-friendliness. Just because an item is labelled as biodegradable does not mean it’s the best environmental choice.

    True compostable products offer more environmental benefits, such as:-

    Soil Enrichment: Compostable products decay into organic matter that helps improve soil health. This can rejuvenate the soil, aiding in plant growth, and reduce the need for chemical fertilisers.

    Carbon Sequestration: Composting captures and stores carbon in the form of organic matter, which can be a valuable tool in combatting climate change.

    Reduced Methane Emissions: When organic matter decays in landfills without air, it releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Composting, however, is an aerobic process (requiring oxygen) and primarily produces carbon dioxide, which has a lower global warming potential than methane.


    Certifications Matter

    Look out for certifications on compostable products. In many regions, a genuine compostable product will have a certification to back its claim. This ensures that it meets the standards of decomposition and non-toxicity. Biodegradable products, however, may lack standardised certifications.


    Making Informed Choices

    Before buying products labelled as biodegradable or compostable, it’s wise to:


    Why Biodegradable Products Shouldn’t be Sent to Composting Facilities

    It is essential to recognise that “biodegradable” and “compostable” products are not synonymous and shouldn’t be treated as such. Sending biodegradable products to composting facilities can pose challenges.

    Biodegradable products are designed to break down over an unspecified timeframe, which might be longer than the period required for composting materials. This can disrupt the composting process, slowing down the decomposition of genuinely compostable items.

    Furthermore, as biodegradable items break down, they may release non-organic compounds or microplastics, contaminating the compost output. Thus, mixing biodegradable products with compostable waste can jeopardise the integrity and quality of the compost produced, rendering it less beneficial or even harmful to the environment.

    Waste Wise operates three advanced composting facilities processing over 200,000 tonnes per annum of garden and food waste. We convert this biowaste into of BSI PAS 100 certified compost for use in a range of high-quality organic soil improvers, growing media and top soils. Click here for more information about our composting facilities.

    Autumn, with its rich tapestry of colours and cooler temperatures, is a golden period for gardeners and composting enthusiasts. As leaves tumble and summer’s bounty finishes, there’s a wealth of materials ready to be transformed into black gold for next year’s garden.

    The team at Waste Wise specialise in commercial composting, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a composting pro at home too! Here are our top tips on layering your compost bin with the best offerings of the season.

    Start with a Base of Twigs and Branches

    Begin your autumn compost pile with a 6-inch layer of twigs, small branches, or straw at the bottom. This coarse material aids in aeration, preventing the compost from becoming too compacted or waterlogged.

    Add a Layer of Fallen Leaves

    Autumn is synonymous with falling leaves. Gather leaves like oak, ash, or beech, and shred them if possible, to speed up decomposition. Layering these carbon-rich leaves provides the foundation for your compost pile.

    Incorporate Green Matter

    Sprinkle in fresh grass clippings, spent annuals, and vegetable garden remnants. These nitrogen-rich materials help balance the carbon from the leaves and accelerate the composting process.

    Fruit and Veggie Scraps from the Kitchen

    Autumn harvest might mean you’re processing a lot of fruits and vegetables. Don’t forget to add peels, cores, and other scraps to the pile. They’re an excellent source of nutrients.

    Enhance with Natural Boosters

    A sprinkle of garden soil or finished compost acts as an inoculant, introducing beneficial microbes. Crushed eggshells can also be added for a calcium boost.

    Throw in Coffee Grounds and Tea Bags

    Used coffee grounds and tea bags provide a touch of nitrogen and help maintain a balanced compost mix.

    Add More Leaves

    As autumn progresses, you’ll have a continuous supply of leaves. Keep adding them, especially when you incorporate wetter materials like food scraps to maintain balance.

    Layer with Cardboard and Newspaper

    Thin strips of cardboard or non-glossy newspaper serve as a carbon source and help absorb excess moisture.

    Maintain Moisture Balance

    Your compost should have the consistency of a wrung-out sponge. If it’s too dry, sprinkle some water. If it’s too wet, add more leaves or paper.

    Turn the Pile Regularly

    Every week or two, turn your compost pile to introduce air, which aids the aerobic decomposition process and prevents foul odours.

    Add a Final Layer of Leaves

    As winter approaches, add a final layer of leaves on top. This acts as an insulation blanket, keeping the pile warmer and aiding decomposition through the colder months.


    Here at Waste Wise, our strategically located composting facilities utilise advanced technologies to efficiently and cost effectively convert over 200,000 tonnes of biowaste per annum into a range of high quality, industry certified organic compost products.

    We have over 20 years’ experience in composting, and are continually improving our process, increasing capacity and reducing costs whilst maximising our positive impact on the environment.

    By layering the best of the season in your compost bin, you are also helping to reduce waste. So, grab that rake, gather those leaves, and let the composting magic begin!

    We are very excited to see East Yorkshire play a big part in the Tour of Britain, with Stage 3 ending in Beverley on 5th September.

    As the town prepares for the big event, we are delighted to be able to support East Riding of Yorkshire Council in helping Beverley look its very best. Our organic PAS 100 compost will be used for the floral displays and planters lining the route in the town centre.

    Stage 3 is from Goole to Beverley and covers 154.7km and we wish all competitors the very best.

    We are delighted to advise that we have secured a 10-year contract with North Lincolnshire Council to treat 17,500 tonnes of green waste per year.

    The unitary authority is part of the Yorkshire and Humber region and has a population of over 169k* including the towns of Scunthorpe, Brigg, Haxey, Crowle, Epworth, Bottesford, Kirton in Lindsey and Barton-upon-Humber.

    This is the 11th municipal contract to add to the our portfolio, valued at circa. £4.5m and will cover the treatment of around 17,500 tonnes of green waste per year.  The waste will be collected from the kerbside and directly delivered by roadside collection vehicles to a site within the council area.  This processing site will be run in partnership between Biowise, Down to Earth Recycling Ltd and Brier Hills Recycling Ltd.

    A spokesperson for North Lincolnshire Council commented: “Biowise are providing us with an efficient and proven solution for the treatment of our green waste, the end product of which is high grade compost that promotes the circular economy.”

    Over 95% of the waste will be recycled into PAS100 quality compost for horticultural and agricultural use. The majority will serve the local agricultural community thus helping reduce the carbon footprint of the area. The remaining process outputs are recycled or sent for energy and heat recovery.

    “We look forward to working with North Lincolnshire Council in helping them achieve their waste management goals. The long-term contract will ensure that, together, we create clear, efficient processes to ensure an effective waste service for residents where as little as possible is wasted,” said Bob Wilkes, Managing Director, Biowise.

    *2021 census

    Our Cheshire East Council’s state of the art IVC and composting facility is getting ready for renewable energy in the form of solar panels.

    The development of a solar farm to supply power to the facility at Leighton Grange is the culmination of a detailed, 3-year vision in partnership with Cheshire East Council. The 4.1 megawatt solar farm will not only help to provide renewable energy to power the composting plant operated by Biowise but will also put green energy back into the national grid, helping to offset a significant amount of the council’s carbon emissions.

    The council is set to begin work on the large-scale solar farm, which will generate enough power for about 1,200 houses, on land adjacent to the composting plant to provide renewable energy and reduce carbon emissions.

    “To add a carbon neutral source of power to the process by which Cheshire East Council recycles its kitchen and garden waste into PAS100 compost should be congratulated,” commented our Managing Director, Bob Wilkes.  “It provides residents with a model of best practice on how to manage local waste and we are delighted to have been able to play our part in that process.”

    Cheshire East Council has committed to becoming carbon neutral in its operations by 2025, and in supporting the wider borough to understand and reduce their carbon footprint. The target is based on an assessment of the council’s carbon footprint and covers the emissions that the council has direct control over, including streetlighting, gas and electricity from council-owned buildings, fleet vehicles and business travel.

    Councillor Mick Warren, chair of the council’s environment and communities committee, said: “Cheshire East Council is committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2025, and that means reducing emissions that the council has direct control over.”

    The facility at Leighton Grange, which became fully operational in June 2020, has the capacity to process up to 75,000 tonnes per annum of food and garden waste. Over 95% of the waste inputs are recycled into quality BSI PAS 100 certified compost for use in horticultural, agricultural and landscaping markets.  The remaining, small percentage of process outputs are recycled or sent for energy recovery.

    Well done to Reece Polles and Steven Taylor who completed their training and recently qualified at NPORS level for both loading shovel and Materials Re-Handler.  
    Supported by David Scott and Mick Wheatley from our management team, the pair now have a personal qualification to drive these complex and dangerous pieces of heavy plant in any site environment.
    Providing the appropriate training for our staff is essential for personal development and career progression and gives us strength and depth in our workforce.

    Wastewise has secured an initial three-year contract, to handle the mixed garden and food waste for the Derby city area, which is home to over 257,000* residents.  The deal, worth around £2.5m, provides an efficient solution for the combined collection of approximately18k tonnes per annum of kerbside collected garden and food waste, which will be handled at the Wastewise In-Vessel Composting facility in Crewe.


    “We are very pleased to confirm this new contract with Wastewise which will allow us to continue to drive forward our waste and recycling agenda and help residents of Derby dispose of their waste in a sustainable way,” comments Councillor Jerry Pearce, Cabinet Member for Streetpride.  “We were impressed with the level of technology deployed to achieve the high standard of composting on site.  This cost-effective service will help us to increase recycling rates, including food waste, across the city.”


    Wastewise operates three composting facilities across the North of England processing over 200,000 tonnes per annum of organic waste, including food and garden waste.  The 18k tonnes of waste from the Derby City area will further optimise capacity at its Crewe plant.


    “At Wastewise we promote the use of sustainable waste treatment methods to help achieve zero waste to landfill. We are delighted to support Derby City Council via this new contract which will further add to our output of peat-free compost.  An environmentally responsible and cost-effective method, composting is nature’s way of recycling organic waste,” comments Bob Wilkes, Operations & Development Director.


    Co-mingling of organic waste materials is a simple and effective solution for councils across the country to maximise the collection of food and garden waste. Whilst composting does not enable the recovery of renewable energy or gas per se, it does provide important greenhouse gas benefits, both directly through use of a single collection vehicle, by preventing the release of methane from landfill and indirectly through improved soil health.


    Following a very successful 18 months of growth, Hull-based Wastewise continues to work on broadening its waste-processing infrastructure, which includes materials recycling, biomass and alternative fuel production facilities.