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  1. Free courses help gardeners compost in confidence

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    Free training courses are on offer to anyone who thinks they can help gardeners get the confidence to compost at home or enhance their skills.

    Backed by Somerset Waste Partnership, eco-education charity the Carymoor Environmental Trust is recruiting volunteer Compost Champions.

    Compost Champions help spread know-how and skills in composting to gardeners throughout Somerset.

    The first step is to join one of two free one-day Compost Champion training courses being held in April.

    The courses available are: Saturday 23 April at Hestercombe Gardens near Taunton, and Saturday 30 April at Carymoor Environmental Centre near Castle Cary.

    Running 10am-4pm with lunch provided, the days include the chance to visit Hestercombe’s impressive gardens or Carymoor’s nature reserve.

    Carymoor chief executive Rupert Farthing said: “Composting is the most environmentally-friendly way to deal with garden waste.

    “It reduces waste to costly and polluting landfill and converts garden waste into a free soil improver that makes for better gardening.”

    “Training is free but volunteers must undertake to champion the cause in their community to help residents waste less, recycle more and save money.”

    To sign up or for more details, email rupert.farthing@carymoor.org.uk, call 01963 350143 or visit www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/more/composting/champions.

    The Compost Champions scheme, supported by Somerset Waste Partnership and Viridor, started in 2009 and now more than 65 volunteers across Somerset pass on their enthusiasm for home composting in their local areas.

  2. Garden waste collection service reminders go out

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    Thousands of Somerset residents are being prompted to start their gardening year with a reminder from their district council to renew their paid garden waste collection.

    Fortnightly kerbside pick-ups in bins or compostable paper sacks are good value when compared to the cost and time of taking it by car to a recycling site.

    The garden waste bin or sack can be used to recycle flowers, plants and weeds with grass cuttings, leaves and hedge trimmings, as well as branches up to 10cm wide.

    The garden waste service also accepts straw or sawdust if used as bedding from vegetarian pets, such as rabbits, but not soil or food waste.

    After being shredded and rotting down in massive windrows, Somerset’s composted garden waste is sold as the Revive soil improver from every recycling site.

    For garden waste collection details, contact your district council customer services, or click the links here.

    Of course, garden waste can be composted at home with fruit and veg peelings, egg shells, tea bags, coffee grounds, and some shredded paper or cardboard.

    And Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) has special offers for composting bins and hints on home composting.

    It also has advice about the invasive weeds Japanese Knotweed and Common Ragwort, and information on Chalara dieback of ash trees.

    SWP backs the Compost Champions scheme run by Carymoor Environmental Trust that sees volunteers across Somerset offer tips for better composting.

    Experienced composters are being urged to join the Compost Champions, with two separate one-day free training courses on offer in April.

    The two courses are on Saturday 23 April at Hestercombe House, near Taunton, and Saturday 30 April at Carymoor Environmental Centre near Castle Cary.

    For more details of these courses or to book a place, email rupert.farthing@carymoor.org.uk or call 01963 350143.

  3. Collections in South Somerset

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    Due to staff illness we have not been able to pick up waste in a few areas of South Somerset in the past few days.

    We will have vehicles collecting on Saturday 13 February to catch up.  So if you live in South Somerset and your waste was not collected please keep it out and ready for collection on Saturday.

    Thank you for your understanding.