21 February 2014

Wroughton and Wichelstowe prospective candidate Talis Kimberley-Fairbourn has been encouraging her neighbours to share composting facilities, following on from Swindon Borough Council’s decision to charge £40 per year to collect garden waste from households, beginning in April.

"It’s a backward step, surely, to charge people for doing the right thing," Talis says. "It runs counter to commonsense, and I'm concerned that for some people the most viable option will be to put their compostible waste back in the black bins for landfill. Some local councils encourage composting, after all; given nutrient depletion and soil erosion from over-use, we should be putting the good green stuff back into the soil cycle."

Talis is encouraging neighbours to become Compost Buddies, and share composting facilities – whether by taking the odd bucketful round to a neighbour’s compost bin, or by setting up a bin in their front garden for their neighbours to use.

"It’s as simple as a sign on the front gate saying 'Compost Buddy needed' or 'Compost Buddies Welcome'" says Talis, who has set the ball rolling with a front garden bin at her home in Wroughton. "It's a little thing, and a local thing, but besides keeping green stuff out of landfill and benifitting the soil cycle, it can increase neighbourliness – social capital, if you like – and put people back in charge of what happens to the stuff they don’t need."

There's a website for Compost Buddies at http://www.talis.net/compostbuddies/index.php
And a Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/compostbuddies if you’re interested in knowing more, whether you compost or not.

"I'm fond of grassroots, low-tech solutions where possible," Talis says. "This fits the bill."

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