Recycling food waste in Frome

Loop:Frome turns waste into raw materials to support nature, local people and the Earth. We have provided the charity with a grant from our Environment Fund 2022 to support their food waste collection and composting service.

We caught up with Zak Gratton, who looks after fundraising at the charity, to learn more.

What does Loop:Frome do?

We are dismayed that so much stuff gets thrown away. By capturing and repurposing 'waste' into useful products on a local scale, we avoid the high negative climate and environmental costs of waste disposal and manufacturing.

Tell us a bit about your food waste collection and composting service.

This is one of our main projects and it involves collecting food waste from local businesses, such as restaurants, cafes and offices. We take surplus food and offcuts and transform them into high-quality living compost which is then distributed to local residents and organisations.

Loop:Frome composting charity worker riding composing bicycle

How does Loop:Frome support the local environment?

Food waste accounts for around 10% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We are helping to tackle this by capturing and transforming waste into highly nutritious living compost. Since we started in May 2021, we have prevented over 12 tonnes of CO2 emissions, which is more than the average person in the UK produces annually.

Tackling climate change and biodiversity loss will also require a radical change in how we manage our soils. Building up the soil with healthy organic material increases its capacity to store carbon, retain moisture, resist erosion and support life.

What will our funding be used for?

The funding will be used to buy another composter. We are almost at the limit of the volume of food waste we can collect and process, so a new machine will double our capacity and impact. It will also increase the income we gain from businesses using our services, which we rely on to pay a living wage to our compost collectors.

What are your plans for the future?

We plan to engage in community-led research to identify new waste streams to target and ultimately create a fully circular economy in Frome. This will create local jobs, ensure resources are recycled and support the environment. By 'thinking globally, acting locally' we can produce models that can be easily replicated elsewhere in other towns and communities.