By Jack Williams & Arnoldas Svedas in GLD Challenge magazine 2019-20
Biocycle Bike Trailer
THE PROJECT'S BEGINNING
Set up in 2016, Biocycle is a student-led volunteering project, aiming to tackle the lack of sustainable options for food waste disposal in Southampton.
Biocycle's founder, Artur Fernandes, noticed student houses were particularly affected by this problem, as many houses lacked gardens with compost piles. With the help of funding from Southampton Hub, a local charity supporting student led-community projects, Biocycle was set up and collected almost 600kg of food waste to be composted in its first year. And so Biocycle was born!
HOW THE SCHEME WORKS
It's pretty simple! Our houses pay £10 to the project and receive a compost caddy (made from recycled plastic), 25 biodegradable caddy liners, and weekly collections for the academic year. Our recyclers are reminded to put their caddies out the evening before, and our bio-cyclists collect the food waste in the morning. It's then taken to Aldermoor Community Farm, where it is composted and used to grow organic veg for the local community!
THIS YEAR IN BIOCYCLE
From 35 houses in previous years, we've now grown to serve up over 125 houses this year, and grown our team to over 15 core volunteers.
Our academic year in numbers (so far!):
Houses recycling: 126 (>20 more reservations)
Kg food waste recycled: ????
Number of active volunteers: 17
Biggest weekly collection: 191.6kg
Heaviest trailer: 50.3kg (tough up the hills!!)
Number of volunteer socials: 7
Kg porridge eaten by volunteers: LOTS
OUR HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
Eventually, we'd love to see everyone with access to sustainable options for food waste disposal - whether that be composting in our own gardens, city-wide collections, or local community groups and projects working within their community and local allotments.
We'd also eventually love to see similar projects popping up elsewhere in the UK- once a small amount of funding/grant has got the project up and running, it's really quite easy to run! There's a beautiful simplicity in just cycling around the city with friends, and knowing you are also doing something truly good for the environment and your local community. If you've any questions about the project, feel free to contact us on Facebook
Best wishes! Biocycle Team
Jack Williams & Arnoldas Svedas,
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