Friday 21 December 2012
ISLANDERS are being encouraged to forget about socks, hankies and embarrassing jumpers this Christmas and buy their loved one a bargain compost bin instead.
Public Services' Recycling Officer Tina Norman-Ross said a large proportion of what the average household's throws away can be composted at home, and the more islanders take up the habit the less waste will be going to landfill.
'A great example is all the vegetable peelings that we produce for Christmas festive veg. It's estimated each person will eat an average of 14 sprouts over the festive period, which is almost a million sprouts consumed in Guernsey this Christmas.
'Add to that all the roast potatoes, parsnips, carrots, cabbage, and that's a lot peelings, all of which can be composted to create rich, free food for the garden. If you have the space to do that, it's a much better option than sending them to landfill, where they won't rot down naturally and produce carbon dioxide and other unpleasant gases.
The department has once again teamed up with local garden centres to provide subsidised home composting kits for just £10. Since the scheme was first introduced in 2005, more than 5000 kits have been snapped up, each one including a bin, kitchen caddy and guide.
Mrs Norman-Ross said they can make an ideal gift for someone with a garden.
'Very little outdoor space is needed to start composting and islanders can compost a wide range of Christmas items including vegetable and fruit peelings, egg shells, tea bags and coffee grounds, Christmas cracker inners and paper hats and even Rudolph's uneaten carrot can go in', said Mrs Norman-Ross.
The price of the kits is a saving of £25 on the normal price, and they can be bought up for grabs at Earlswood Garden Centre, R H Gaudion & Sons Ltd, Guernsey Gardens, Le Friquet Garden Centre, and Queux Patio Plants.
What can be composted over Christmas?
It's surprising how many Christmas items can be composted. We have come up with some suggestions which we hope you will find useful.
- Fill your kitchen caddy with those Christmas fruit and vegetable peelings, teabags, coffee grounds, paper towels and eggshells. Even Rudolf's uneaten carrot can go in!
- Once the presents are open, wrapping paper and gift tags can be scrunched up and added to the mix. Careful not to include paper made from plastic film or heavily glittered tags.
- Cardboard packaging from Christmas toys and gifts will add fibre and structure to your bin, as will the additional paper and cardboard packaging from your kitchen store cupboard!
- Paper napkins, Christmas crackers inners and party hats from your Christmas table are also good compost ingredients.
- Wood ash from open fires can be put into your compost bin; after Santa has been, of course!
- The remnants of your New Years Eve party can also be composted - nut shells, cocktail sticks, paper plates and some party food packaging. Natural corks will take longer to break down but can also be added to your compost bin
- With additional visitors over the Christmas period, there is bound to be vacuuming to do. The contents of your vacuum cleaner can be emptied into the compost bin.
- Holly, mistletoe, paper chains and decorations can also be composted after Twelfth Night
Information on all items that can be recycled locally is available online at www.gov.gg/recycling.