Lincoln Prison has installed an eco-smart food waste dryer, which has reduced its off-the-plate food waste by about 80 per cent.
Off-the-plate food waste is simply the food that we haven’t eaten after a meal that cannot otherwise be recycled. Because it has a high water content, drying it reduces its volume considerably and produces a sandy textured output that looks a bit like ground coffee.
This has considerably reduced the cost of getting rid of waste food for the prison, and the output can be mixed with other composting materials and put back on the land as a nutrient. It can also be turned in to briquettes with other waste material and used as a fuel.
“We were keen to make the prison more sustainable and the food dryer really is at the cutting edge of recycling technology,” explains Industries Manager Allan Jamieson, who is spearheading the project for the prison.
“We have been experimenting with a range of after uses and a number of possibilities are now coming to fruition.”
The dryers are supplied by Lincoln-based firm Bergmann Direct who specialise in a range of recycling technologies.
As we emerge from winter and welcome spring, children at Washingborough Academy have welcomed their grandparents to the school to help them plant their new batch of vegetable seeds.
Following the success of the project last year, the school has now decided to grow a more diverse selection of vegetables and fruits to include more heritage types, such as white beetroot, trombone courgettes and chocolate cherry tomatoes.
Through the Food Education curriculum, which the school has embedded into its classes, weekly TastEd lessons encourage the children to use all five of their senses to help expand their palates; by planting and growing the produce, children are much more likely to try fresh produce that they may not have been exposed to before.
This also enables the school to teach them that there are many more varieties of fruit and vegetables than you will find in the supermarkets.
The school has also welcomed visitors from Sweden, Italy and Portugal as part of DEMETER – a three-year project that encourages links between schools and farms.
This complements another project that the school is pioneering with LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), whereby classes are linked with farmers throughout the country via Skype or FaceTime.
National charity Neighbourly was set up in 2014 to connect individuals, businesses and communities to support good causes for a more sustainable world and celebrate achievements in an inspirational way.
It has partnered with Lidl in North Hykeham to help staff manage their ‘back of store’ food surplus programme. As a result, free food donations can be collected from the North Hykeham branch throughout the working week.
Those who have registered receive an alert from the store when it has food available so that they can see what is on offer before collecting – a great way to plan how to use it to avoid waste.
The alerts are sent out between 10am and 11am and collections can take place anytime until 7pm the same day. The food types are a mixture of fresh fruits and vegetables, bakery goods and ambient food items.
To take advantage of this scheme, visit neighbourly.com/goodcause/new. You will need to agree to the terms and conditions and have evidence of a level 2 hygiene certificate.
For further information, please call 0117 917 5312.
Say hello to Alex Crow – the new General Manager at Mint Lane Café, based in the Involve@Lincoln centre.
The café, which welcomes everyone, uses supermarket food that would otherwise go to waste to make nourishing hot meals and takeaway sandwiches which are sold for between £2 and £3.
It also houses a range of self help and self enhancement groups to improve mental health and its services always reflect its ‘friendship through food’ strapline.
Alex, who has been volunteering at the café for about a year, said: “I am feeling very enthusiastic about my new role at Mint Lane Café.
“I first discovered the café when I joined UpBeat – a group which meets there to raise awareness for and provide assistance to people with personality disorders – and attended events held there by Women in the Arts.
“I then began volunteering my time to help with the health and safety and food hygiene aspects, as I have a lot of experience in both from my day job as a restaurant supervisor.
“I’ve also gained considerable experience in customer service, hospitality and mental health services. So when the position of Café Manager came up, a friend of mine – who was closely involved in the beginnings of Mint Lane – suggested I should apply.
“I’m inspired by my friends at the centre; I look at what has been accomplished so far and it excites me to think about what could be achieved in the future.
“The Mint Lane Café is somewhere anyone can go: it is a home away from home for not just our customers but our volunteers too.
“It’s fantastic to be part of something that helps so many people and it’s such an inspiration to see the passion and drive people have to make a difference in the world.”