Last year, UK homes created 4.5 million tonnes of food waste. That’s 4,500,000,000 kg of food that could have been eaten and, instead, ended up in landfill, where it produces dangerous greenhouse gases.
Alongside a better use of resources, we could also start composting the organic materials we normally throw away—potato peels, banana peels, coffee grounds, bread, eggshells.
The problem for many people is that they have no outdoor space or access to a composting bin.
Enter ShareWaste—an app connecting people who want to recycle their kitchen scraps to neighbours “who are already composting, worm farming, or keeping chickens.”
The idea is to help people recycle their organic waste, even if they’re often travelling for work or living in a place without space for a composting bin.
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Meet Kylie Newberry ?. Kylie is a food systems consultant and advocate and also an active @sharewaste donor. She’s also busy writing a new course on Food Citizenship for Queensland University of Technology! Kylie loves empowering people to consider ways in which they can both build and support a better food system at @ourfoodsystem. Here is Kylie’s ShareWaste story and a heart-warming first encounter with her local compost hosts: “I fortunately stumbled across ShareWaste at a time when I was encouraging others to compost and yet not doing so myself! We’d recently moved to a home that didn’t have a compost bin, and I felt pretty miserable seeing how much more our general waste increased by not composting. When I discovered ShareWaste, I was fortunate enough to find a host (Sue) less than 1km away?. After collecting all our food scraps in a bucket on our kitchen sink, I started doing drop offs about twice a week. My compost hosts kept a bucket on their driveway so it was really straight forward to transfer, and I’d usually go via their place either before or after school pick up. Being a pretty social person I was keen to meet Sue and thank her for kindly allowing me to drop off my food scraps, yet whenever I was on my own no one ever seemed to be home. Over 2 months passed and we still hadn’t crossed paths. Until one day I drove up and saw Sue in her garden. Hence I went and said hi. Like me, Sue had also been eager to meet and so it was wonderful to be greeted with such joy and gratitude, by both her and her husband, Steve. They told me that my food scraps either feed their chickens or go into the compost which they use on their veggie garden or fruit trees on the verge?????. As you can imagine, this fleeting interaction made my day. I am so very thankful knowing that my food scraps are being put to good use, instead of going to landfill. If you’d like to know more about food advocacy and Kylie’s work, visit her website www.ourfoodsystem.com? ??? Stop feeding landfill. Join ShareWaste.com to connect with your neighbours and start feeding the earth.
ShareWaste is as simple to use as signing up to connect with neighbours and choosing whether to donate or receive organic waste.
A private messaging function within the app allows would-be donors to talk to neighbours who have signed up and then donate the scraps.
“If you’re like us, you produce awful lots of organic scraps,” Share Waste founders and married couple Eli Bramborova and Tomas Brambora write on the ShareWaste website. “Heaps of it, really. Peels, used coffee grounds…Wouldn’t it be great if you could turn all that stuff into new soil rather than adding yet another pile to landfill? We think it would.”
Tom is a software engineer, working on the technical aspects of the ShareWaste platform, while Eli heads the day-to-day operations of the app.
“Now you can divert waste from landfill while getting to know the people around you,” the couple adds.
Share Waste is a grassroots solution, protecting the world from dangerous methane gas and helping composters at the same time.
One app user, Margaret Archibald, told Infotel that although she isn’t an “app person,” she thought the Share Waste programme was easy enough for many people to use and benefit from.
“I do not like to see one scrap of organic material going into the landfill,” she tells the site. “There is no need for that.”
“You can never have too much compost. You can ask any gardener that, we all want more compost.”