A SCHOOL is to start composting its food waste thanks to donations from local businesses and councillors and fundraising efforts by parents and pupils,

Pupils and staff at the Halterworth Primary in Romsey has bought a Ridan ‘Pro system’, a composter that can deal with everything from apple cores to bacon rind.

It is capable of taking up to 200kg of food waste per week - 7.8 tons per year that will help to grow plants and trees around the school, rather than being incinerated.

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Headteacher Phil Thomas said: “The pupils are at the forefront of many of the changes we are making at the school. We take on their ideas and suggestions as often as we can. It’s brilliant to be able to involve them first-hand in the process of composting. They are keen to get going!”

The school is embarking on an environmental campaign to reduce carbon emissions and set the pupils off with a good understanding of how they can make a positive difference to their world.

Children will learn about the importance of healthy soil and moving towards a circular economy. Some pupils have already volunteered to help with the process of collecting waste food and tending to the composter.

As school waste disposal is charged for by weight, Halterworth will be saving money on collections. Caretaker Simon also aims to use school compost instead of bought compost in the grounds.

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Matthew Southey, from Ask About Mortgages, said: “It’s a pleasure to be able to contribute towards this initiative and play a role in moving towards a more sustainable economy.”

Cllr Mark Cooper: “We hope to inspire other schools and catering establishments to follow in Halterworth’s footsteps. With UK schools producing over 80,000 tonnes of food waste every year, composting plays a valuable role in reducing this figure.”

Cllr John Parker said: “Having been involved with the school since my children were pupils there in the 1980’s, I am very excited by the initiative that the school has taken. Now that my granddaughter is there, I look forward to being able to support further eco projects.”

Halterworth School volunteer sustainability officer Natalie Martin said: “We are so grateful to all those who contributed. It makes a difference far beyond the savings of this machine, through all the children who will carry their learning on with them.”

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