Compost Culture

We’re delighted to share that we’ve received funding from The National Lottery Community Fund Climate Action Hub, for our ‘Compost Culture’ project.

Thanks to National Lottery players, we will be able to work with a fantastic set of partners (General Public, The Active Wellbeing Society (TAWS), Balsall Heath City Farm, and Birmingham Friends of the Earth) to develop systems to reduce food waste in Birmingham by turning it into compost & growing food with the compost we produce. 

Image shows three volunteers sorting food waste for composting, smiling at the camera. One of the women is wearing a hijab, and putting on rubber gloves, another gloved woman is putting items into a crate and the man, also gloved, is tearing cardboard.
Hot compost making at our Incredible Allotment in Smethwick, 3rd January 2022

We recently held a hot compost making session at our Incredible Allotment in Smethwick.  A group of Incredible Surplus volunteers came together to prepare the materials to construct a hot compost pile. All sorts of materials collected through community networks in Birmingham can be composted!

This time, the volunteers composted:

  • Surplus supermarket food that could not be distributed for consumption because of damaged packaging/past use by date/spoilage
  • Paper and cardboard
  • Leaves collected while litter picking local streets
  • ‘Spent’ grain left over from the brewing process, donated by local microbreweries
  • Wood chip from allotment maintenance

A large pile was layered up in bays constructed from unwanted pallets. The resulting compost will be used at the Incredible Surplus allotment in Smethwick to grow food for the project. This method is very quick, creating the perfect environment for microscopic life forms to rapidly breakdown the materials – steaming hot!

If you’re a tree surgeon / sawmill / brewery / restaurant / food business and you have waste or surplus we could compost, you can get in touch here.

Five volunteers work on the allotment to sort the various types of waste for composting. Behind them is a covered area with bays separated by pallets.
Hot compost making at our Incredible Allotment in Smethwick, 3rd January 2022

Compost Culture is a 2 year project that seeks to change the narrative on compost and support behaviour change. We will do this by partnering up practical, hands on compost and growing initiatives with the production of creative media and storytelling projects that seek to rearticulate compost as something magical, ‘cultured’, relevant & fundamental to how society moves forward.

The stories we tell about compost and waste will shape what the city is and what it can become. We will be setting up compost demonstration sites across the city where you can come and take a look at different systems for managing your food waste, attend workshops and see (and eat) the food we are growing with the compost produced. There will also be a range of events and activities to support the project from a touring exhibition to a Festival of Surplus.

Composting is Climate Action!

Banner with the words 'Climate Action Starts Here'

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