In November 2013 Naomh Padraig Residents’ Association was awarded a Local Agenda 21 grant of €500 by Leitrim Co. Council towards a Community Composting project for the estate. This grant is awarded each year to a variety of community groups throughout Ireland for projects involving partnership with the local community which will contribute to environmental sustainability in the locality.
Naomh Padraig Estate has a lot of grass! Fortunately for us this is maintained very well by the CE Scheme run by Leitrim Development Company, and the green areas of the estate are mown every two weeks during the growing season. Previously disposal of all this grass created a problem – some of it could be left to lie as mulch, but the rest had to be dumped in a nearby field. Setting up a Community Composting Scheme allows us to manage most of the grass in a very sustainable manner, along with garden and kitchen waste contributed by residents. At the end of the composting process we hope to have good quality compost which can be used for planting round the estate and in residents’ gardens.
The strip of lawn beside the community shed was agreed as the best location for the composting scheme. Here it is readily accessible by all and easily screened by creative planting as required. After consultation with Wayne Frankham of Knockvicar Organic Garden (near Boyle) it was decided to go for a 3 bay structure made of larch timber (which doesn’t require weather-proofing), with detachable front doors and a hinged lid. We were very fortunate to receive €400 of the grant from the Council in advance, to enable purchase of the materials and fittings. Normally grants are only paid on completion of the project, which can be very difficult for community groups without adequate funds.
The site was inspected and approved by Austin Kenny from the Council in March 2014. Site levelling and preparation were carried out on 30th May, and Wayne constructed the bins on site over two beautiful sunny days, 4th and 5th June. We launched the composting scheme on 11th June with the next cut of the estate grass. The novelty created lots of excitement amongst children (and cats!) for a while. During the summer our CE workers laid a paved path to facilitate access to the bins.