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Great Yarmouth businesses encouraged to wiggle closer to being Zero Waste

Businesses in and around the borough of Great Yarmouth are being encouraged to join their local council in the journey towards Zero Waste by using wormeries to dramatically reduce food wastage.

Roger Smith, Billie Todd and Jenny Thompson holding some of the worms

Thanks to funding from "circular economy" scheme called FACET, local businesses can choose between a completely free-of-charge wormery set up or a compost unit to help convert waste to valuable compost with ongoing vermiculture and composting support from experts in the field, Garden Organic.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council has seen its own wormery rise in popularity since it was first introduced back in 2019. Initial feedback showed that staff really embraced the new initiative and as an impressive amount of food waste was being recycled, a further two wormeries were ordered.

The wormery is an efficient, low-maintenance method of on-site composting which allows the council to recycle any food leftovers. 

Often referred to as 'worm bins', the clever compartment system of a wormery houses compost worms, which are gifted in the art of turning ordinary kitchen food waste into Vermicompost, an organic, nutrient-packed compost.

The worms are fed and housed at the Town Hall where they are looked after by Porter, Roger Smith. Dotted around the Town Hall are 'worm food bins' and 'worm menus' so staff know what they can and cannot recycle.

Items such as crushed eggshells, emptied tea bags and spinach are just some of the ingredients the worms enjoy in their diet. The wiggly residents are not fans of food such as onions or overtly citrusy or spicy foods.

The scheme is just one in a series of initiatives within FACET to help create a more sustainable tourism sector, an Interreg 2Seas project working jointly with Norfolk County Council with other projects including:

  • encouraging recycling with new bins for plastic, glass bottles, and cans
  • the successful launch of the Hemsby Cup scheme to help put an end to single use disposable takeaway cups in time for the busy summer season
  • introduction of on-the-go recycling bins in Great Yarmouth and Gorleston
  • increased litter bin capacity along Great Yarmouth seafront
  • piloting of cigarette butt 'ballot bin' systems working with local pubs and restaurants 
  • upcoming installations of three sculptural "BottleShip" drop-off recycling bins across the borough
  • a new Community Fridge in Great Yarmouth, where local food businesses and individuals can donate 'in date' items for free redistribution to the local community to reduce food waste

Cllr Paul Wells, chairman of the environment committee, said: "As a council, we are always looking at ways to become more environmentally friendly and the wormeries are a great way to get rid of household waste and a cost-effective method of creating compost."

Interested businesses can email for more information.

FACET (Facilitate the Adoption of Circular Entrepreneurship in the Tourism and leisure sector) is an Interreg 2Seas project funded by the European Regional Development Fund and delivered by Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Norfolk County Council.

Last modified on 21 June 2023

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