A huge space of waste

Powered bySandwich
A huge space of waste
It's party conference season here in the UK and the US congress is once again in disarray. Unrelated here's a photo story about massive piles of decomposing matter.

According to Respect Food (2021), approximately seven million tonnes of food are wasted in the UK every year. During the Christmas period, two million turkeys, five million Christmas puddings, and 74 million mince pies get disposed while still edible, causing almost 270,000 tons of food waste. If you’ve got leftover food, recycle it. But where does it go when you do? Well, often it will go to an In-Vessel Composting (IVC) facility to be turned into compost for a range of agricultural and horticultural applications.

In the UK, resource management company, Veolia currently processes over 500,000 tonnes of garden and food waste every year. We paid a visit to their huge Padworth IVC just west of London, which has the capacity to process up to 32,000 tonnes of garden and food waste, saving 960 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Virtually all of the compost they produce is used by farms within a 20-mile radius of the site. 

Sara Perry, Veolia Strategy Manager, Treatment took us through the eight-week, four-step process:

SHREDDING: The waste is shredded to make it a consistent size and allow the movement of air and moisture through it.

SANITISATION: The shredded waste is loaded into the tunnel process system. Our technology monitors air flow, heat levels and moisture 24 hours a day. It heats to over 65°C, sanitising the waste and killing any pathogens.

STABILISATION: The composting material is moved out of the tunnels and into the huge stabilisation area, where it sits on an air system, encouraging the biological break- down of the food and garden waste to continue.

MATURATION AND SCREENING: After the material has passed quality checks, it’s ready to be screened. Screening is essentially a huge sieve which separates the fine high- quality composting material from the oversized material. The fine material is now ready to go to farmers or garden centres.

Sara Perry, Veolia Strategy Manager, Treatment took us through the eight-week, four-step process:

SHREDDING: The waste is shredded to make it a consistent size and allow the movement of air and moisture through it.

SANITISATION: The shredded waste is loaded into the tunnel process system. Our technology monitors air flow, heat levels and moisture 24 hours a day. It heats to over 65°C, sanitising the waste and killing any pathogens.

STABILISATION: The composting material is moved out of the tunnels and into the huge stabilisation area, where it sits on an air system, encouraging the biological break- down of the food and garden waste to continue.

MATURATION AND SCREENING: After the material has passed quality checks, it’s ready to be screened. Screening is essentially a huge sieve which separates the fine high- quality composting material from the oversized material. The fine material is now ready to go to farmers or garden centres.

A version of this story was originally published in Sandwich Magazine Issue 6: The Leftovers Issue. You can buy the latest issue here or follow Sandwich on Instagram.

Latest on Huck

Fragile, intimate portraits of California’s imprisoned youth
Photography

Fragile, intimate portraits of California’s imprisoned youth

New monograph ‘A Poor Imitation of Death’ documents and humanises the stories of seven young Californian inmates, aged between 16 and 20 years old, who were tried as adults despite being juveniles.

Written by: Isaac Muk

I was made homeless 11 days after the Asylum decision I waited 16 years for
Election 2024

I was made homeless 11 days after the Asylum decision I waited 16 years for

After spending years waiting for a decision on his refugee status torture survivor Gideon discovered his traumatic fight for security was far from over.

Written by: Gideon, a client at Freedom from Torture

Save the date for Rishi’s Leaving Drinks
Election 2024

Save the date for Rishi’s Leaving Drinks

Huck is teaming up with our friends at Dalston Superstore and Queer House Party to bring you an election night viewing party like no other.

Written by: Ben Smoke

Activists claim victory after major UK festivals drop Barclays as a sponsor
Activism

Activists claim victory after major UK festivals drop Barclays as a sponsor

Groups and artists have been campaigning for Live Nation to drop the bank as a sponsor for Download, Latitude and Isle of Wight over alleged ties to the arms trade.

Written by: Ben Smoke

Exploring the football fanatic culture of the Middle East
Outdoors

Exploring the football fanatic culture of the Middle East

New photo book ‘Football كرة القدم’ draws together pictures from over a dozen photographers to explore the region’s vibrant football culture.

Written by: Isaac Muk

Drag artists unite to get out the vote, babes
Election 2024

Drag artists unite to get out the vote, babes

East London legend Crystal talks to Huck about her new campaign, Vote, Babes! which brings together over 20 drag artists to encourage young people to use their vote.

Written by: Ben Smoke

Sign up to our newsletter

Issue 80: The Ziwe issue

Buy it now