Proving circular economy works in East Cheshire| BY WishAgency
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.