Calthorpe Community Garden

Recycling in action

We all know throwing away bread crusts and bananas skins isn’t good for our carbon footprint, but sometimes it takes seeing the effect on the environment with our own eyes to change our behaviour.

At Calthorpe Community Garden in the heart of Kings Cross, members of the community get the chance to see up close how food recycling works. The charity has created a unique composting system that recycles all the food waste from the cafe and garden waste onsite. The aim is to demonstrate a ‘Closed Loop System’ of food production, consumption and recycling that can be replicated anywhere, such as in schools or restaurants. The loop includes a hydroponic greenhouse (where plants are grown without soil, using nutrients in water), clean energy, food production and waste recycling facility. 

  • London’s households produce 780,000 tonnes of food waste each year.
  • The Mayor has set a London-wide target to cut food waste by 20% per person by 2025 and 50% by 2030.
  • Our grant of £37,879 to Calthorpe Community Garden will help fund their ‘Closed Loop Waste Recycling and Food Production Mico System’.

Going full circle: from composting to cooking

Our grant of £37,879 has allowed the charity to upgrade and install an anaerobic digester, which produces liquid fertiliser and biogas. They’ll put on an opening event to attract volunteers to help manage and monitor the system. Our support will also help the team to develop a toolkit for other groups who might want to implement their own system.

Local volunteers are involved in all stages of the cycle – composting, plant and food growing, harvesting and cooking. As well as improving people’s environmental awareness, the project also helps volunteers’ wellbeing as they benefit from being out and about in the fresh air and getting gentle exercise.

“We are looking forward to seeing the toolkit that Calthorpe develops, based on monitoring and evaluation outcomes of the Closed Loop Waste Recycling & Food Production Mico System, which will be available for other groups who might wish to implement their own system.”

Sharika Alam, Grants Assistant, Kusuma Trust

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