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
A circular frame (create one from flexible branches like willow or grapevine).
Greenery (such as pine branches, holly, eucalyptus, or any other compostable foliage).
Additional natural decorations (like pine cones, dried orange slices, cinnamon sticks, and berries).
Use natural twine instead of floral wire.
Create the Base: Shape your flexible branches into a circle and secure the ends with twine.
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.
Add Decorations: Once the greenery is in place, add your pine cones, dried orange slices, cinnamon sticks, and berries. Secure these with additional twine.
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
Natural fibre fabric (like cotton or hemp)
Natural dye (optional)
Cut the Fabric: Cut the fabric into long strips of your desired width for ribbons.
Optional Dyeing: If you wish to colour your ribbons, use natural dyes made from berries, beets, or other natural sources.
Use as Decor: Tie your fabric ribbons around your tree, wreath, or use them to wrap gifts.
Paper Stars and Garlands
Recycled or biodegradable paper
Natural twine or thread
Instructions for Paper Stars:
Cut Star Shapes: Cut the paper into star shapes. You can fold the paper to cut symmetrical stars.
String the Stars: Punch a small hole at one point of each star and string them onto the twine.
Instructions for Paper Garlands:
Cut Paper Strips: Cut long strips of paper.
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.
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.
We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as part of Phase 1 of the Hydrogen BECCS (Bioenergy with Carbon Capture & Storage) Innovation Programme.
The Hydrogen BECCS Innovation Programme supports technologies which can produce hydrogen from biogenic feedstocks and be combined with carbon capture. It forms part of the BEIS £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, which aims to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative clean energy technologies and processes through the 2020s and 2030s.
The programme will run in 2 phases. Phase 1, total budget £5 million, will support multiple projects to scope and develop a feasible prototype demonstration project to be run in Phase 2.
Biowise is one of 22 organisations selected from across the UK to participate in the new programme, each receiving up to £250,000 of the Phase 1 funding. We plan to scope and develop the feasibility of processing waste compost oversize into a biogenic feedstock source for hydrogen gasifiers.
Currently the firm processes some 200,000 tonnes per annum of garden and food wastes through three composting facilities. Outputs include a range of quality compost grades, and an ‘over-size’ fraction of which comprises biomass materials (such as twigs, sticks and branches) which do not decompose within the composting process.
Accessing stable high value outlets for the compost over-size (COS) fraction is a challenge for the composting sector. Compared to other sources of waste wood, the material is generally unsuitable for direct combustion in energy from waste applications with the outcome being that the material is supplied into low value markets or sent for disposal.
The present absence of established and stable high value fuel markets creates little incentive for compost site operators to invest in innovative processes to produce a higher quality fuel. With Hydrogen BECCs Innovation Programme funding, we aim to develop a project that can process COS to produce a biogenic feedstock source for hydrogen gasifiers, addressing the current challenges associated with COS, and providing a fully biogenic feedstock for hydrogen BECCs supply chains. It is a huge privilege to be part of this new scheme.
Energy Minister, Greg Hands, stated:
“Accelerating home-grown renewables like biomass is a key part of ending our dependency on expensive and volatile fossil fuels. This £37 million of government investment will support innovation across the UK, boosting jobs whilst ensuring greater energy security for years to come.”
Last month we were delighted to be able to supply the Greengates & Apperley Bridge Community group with some of our 100% organic peat-free compost for use in their memorial gardens.
It was great to have the group of volunteers visit our site at Esholt to collect the compost for this important community project. The hard-working bunch took away 50+ bags of compost to help the new garden flourish. It’s important when we work in a community that we also work for that community and participate where we can. Glad we could be part of this.
Stacey Allen takes on the new role of Compliance Supervisor.
Stacey joined Wastewise five years ago in an accounting role which has since developed to include other aspects of the business. In this new role Stacey will provide a dedicated resource covering areas of health and safety, the environment and quality compliance. She will be responsible for promoting and driving a positive culture, ensuring all policies, procedures and training are up to date and providing guidance where necessary.
“I am excited about this new role,” states Stacey, “it will allow me to be involved across the whole business, taking an active part in ensuring our sites run safely and effectively. Working for a local firm with family values and one that is doing good things for the environment is important to me.”
Commenting on the appointment, Bob Wilkes Managing Director Wastewise said, “This new job function is crucial as we continue our growth plans and Stacey will play a pivotal role in ensuring that all our own and our customer sites achieve the highest quality standards in all areas. Stacey is the perfect candidate for the job, able to communicate and engage at all levels.”
We are happy to be working with Hull City Council and Yarrow Aggregates in donating 200 bags of compost from Hull’s brown bin collection service to the Hull Veg Cities project.
The compost will be used to support young people in schools across Hull to grow their own food.
Urbaser Ltd, a Cheltenham based environmental services company and UK subsidiary of the Urbaser Group, is pleased to announce that it has acquired Biowise Ltd (part of Wastewise Holdings Ltd).
Urbaser Ltd provides municipal, waste treatment, and recovery services to residents throughout the UK, focusing its operations on conserving resources, carbon reduction, and delivering a circular economy. The acquisition supports Urbaser Ltd’s growth strategy to expand its portfolio of waste treatment and commercial services solutions within the region, building on the acquisition of five waste management contracts from Amey and J&B Recycling Ltd during 2021.
Founded by the Landau family, Biowise is proud to be a leading recycling and waste management firm with over 50-years’ experience within the industry. Delivering services across Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire and Cheshire, the business operates three organic waste treatment facilities, (including two state-of-the-art in-vessel composting facilities) and offers a Total Waste Management service to a range of local authority and commercial customers, which together generated over £13 million during 2021 through the management of 260,000+ tonnes of waste.
Javier Peiro, Managing Director of Urbaser Ltd, said: “We are delighted to announce the integration of Biowise into the Urbaser Group as another important step along the path of growth and example of our continued ambition to expand the range of services we offer to our local authority and commercial customers across the country. We are committed to ensuring that Biowise continues to deliver the exemplary level of service established by the Biowise team over the many years of operation.
“The collection and treatment of organic waste is a critical element of the United Kingdom’s overall waste management strategy. Through the delivery of the organic waste treatment and Total Waste Management services, Urbaser Ltd is pleased to be able to provide additional support to maximise recycling within the UK.”
The senior management team at Wastewise will remain within the business, including Bob Wilkes as Managing Director, who joined the company in 2017.
Mr Wilkes added: “We are very excited to be joining Urbaser and supporting the Group in its ambitious growth strategy within the UK.
“Biowise is very fortunate to have found a company which possesses the same values in respect of the provision of innovative and environmentally responsible solutions across the waste management sector.”
Commenting on the sale of his company to Urbaser, James Landau added:
“It was extremely important to me to find the right organisation to take the business forward and I have every confidence that Urbaser will nurture and build upon Biowise’s existing relationships with its various local authority and commercial customers to take the company to the next level.
“I am very proud of what we have achieved, and I am thankful to the whole team for their loyalty and support. I wish them and Urbaser all the best for the future as they embark on the next chapter.”
The Urbaser Group has been delivering environmental services across the world since 1990. It plays a key role in the advancement of the circular economy, acting as a strategic partner in cities and industries all over the world, providing efficient and innovative environmental management solutions which it implements through its business areas.
We are delighted to have been awarded a 2-year contract for the treatment of organic waste from the district of Staffordshire Moorlands.
Our tenth municipal contract, this latest Staffordshire Moorlands deal commenced on April 1st and is valued at around £1,300,000 over the period of two years. The contract will be run by AES, Alliance Environmental Services Ltd, on behalf of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council.
All the organic material from Staffordshire Moorlands is bulked up at a central location in Leek and this will be collected by Wastewise for transportation to our own Cheshire East plant. This state-of-the-art Gicom In-vessel Composting Facility (IVC) in Leighton Grange, near Crewe can process up to 90,000 tonnes of organic waste per annum.
Since opening in June 2020, the facility has exceeded expectations in efficiency and processing capabilities, allowing additional capacity to take this new consignment of organic waste.
Darren Wood, AES Ltd commented: “Wastewise are providing us with an efficient and proven solution for the treatment of our organic waste, the end product of which is high grade compost that promotes circular economy.”
Over 96% of the waste inputs at Crewe are recycled into quality compost for use in horticultural, agricultural, landscaping or land remediation sector. All other process outputs are recycled or sent for energy and heat recovery.
“We look forward to supporting Staffordshire Moorlands District Council and AES with their organic waste treatment and in helping them achieve their waste management goals. We are proud to support 10 local authorities across north and mid-England, using our purpose-built facilities to ensure as little as possible is wasted,” said Bob Wilkes, Managing Director of Wastewise.
We are pleased to announce that Michael Wheatley has been appointed as our new Operations Director.
Michael originally joined Wastewise in May 2020 when he took on the role of Senior Operations & Compliance Manager. A major part of this role was ensuring compliance with health, safety and environmental legislation across our three operating sites.
Prior to this Michael has a long history in managerial operations roles with large UK companies, managing and developing multiple site locations, working to implement progressive safety improvement objectives whilst leading on contract negotiations.
In his new role, he will be responsible for the safe, efficient and profitable running of the sites across the Wastewise group, focusing on closer coordination in the sharing of capacity, facilities, staff and product distribution to maximise output. He will also be championing a more unified company staffing approach and extensive in-house training programmes to support safer working practice.
“I am delighted to take on this new role, “states Michael, “with plans to consolidate the already high standards set in Safety, Environmental, and Quality output that I’ve worked on since 2020. I have an ongoing programme of plant and capital investment that I am committed to and will support the board in its ambitious 5-year development strategy.”
“Michael is a hands-on manager that leads by example, engaging fully with employees at all levels to ensure that they are onboard with the objectives and direction of the business. He is a perfect fit for the task at hand, ” comments Bob Wilkes.
Farmer Kristian Charlesworth of Red Hall Farm, Leighton, has seen the costs of oil-based fertiliser more than triple in the last year, with prices now over £1000 per tonne. The current crisis and supply issues have meant it was essential to find alternative methods of providing nutrient rich additions for his Cheshire-based arable farm. He didn’t have to look far.
Red Hall Farm is located immediately adjacent to our Cheshire East Council IVC In-vessel composting facility, built at Leighton Grange in 2018. The facility has the capacity to process up to 75,000 tonnes per annum of food and garden waste and over 95% of the waste inputs are recycled into quality BSI PAS 100 certified compost of various grades.
The nutrient rich compost is an ideal replacement for oil-based fertiliser and, being PAS100 certified, it is heavily regulated to ensure it is spread to the right density. In addition, the plant based structure of the compost helps improve the composition and drainage of the land and is a fraction of the price of the oil derived alternative.
“I needed to try out the product first,” states Mr Charlesworth, “taking 1000t as a trial. I was not disappointed. The benefits were clear from the outset, the land is much improved and I have saved significantly on my costs. The quality of the product was really very high, with plastic contamination extremely minimal. It gave us the confidence to place an order for 2000t in 2022.”
Just as important for all concerned is the fact that Mr Charlesworth is returning recycled green waste to the land. Mixed garden and kitchen waste material from Cheshire East households is recycled in Cheshire East at the Biowise IVC facility and is put back on to the land on a Cheshire East farm. The virtuous circle of this arrangement is lost on no one. Moreover, as Mr Charlesworth’s farm is adjacent to the Biowise facility, the compost does not even have to travel far, collected by tractor to be put directly onto the land.
We operate three composting facilities across the North of England processing over 200,000 tonnes per annum of organic waste. “The use of sustainable waste treatment methods helps to achieve zero waste to landfill,” says Bob Wilkes. “Composting is nature’s way of recycling organic waste, being an environmentally responsible and cost-effective method. If we can assist a local business in replacing a costly fossil fuel based commodity with a fully recycled product then it only adds to that story of environmental responsibility. This is core to our Wastewise philosophy.”
All our compost-based products are certified to BSI PAS 100 and Compost Quality Protocol standards for use in horticulture, agriculture, landscaping and land restoration.