The Gosport and Fareham Multi-Academy Trust is fundraising for a biodigester to become more sustainable

The head chef at a group of schools is calling on local businesses to help support the funding of a biodigester to convert waste food into compost.

By Sophie Lewis
Monday, 20th June 2022, 10:45 am

Executive chef at the Gosport and Fareham Multi-Academy Trust Rickard Gustafsson wants the machine to help reduce waste and make the school more environmentally friendly.

The biodigester will cost up to £25,000 but Rickard said that it is a ‘a fairly big unit’ which is approximately three metres wide and can convert up to 250kg of food waste per day.

Rickard is determined to get one for the school, and has sent over 40 letters to a range of companies and organisations, from petrol companies to waste management businesses looking for any type of funding.

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Executive Chef at the Gosport and Fareham Trust, Rickard Gustafsson

He said: ‘I have had some interest. There has been a lot of talk but there are not a lot of people taking anything into action.’

The biodigester will take the waste food products and will use microbes to convert it into an organic fertiliser that will improve the crop production.

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Rickard is hoping that the fertiliser produced can be used on the school gardens to help grow more produce whilst also giving the soil to allotments.

One of the gardens where fresh produce is grown.

If the biodigester is secured, the trust is hoping to put it at Brune Park Community School because it has space, but Rickard said that food waste from the other four schools – Bay House, Gomer Junior, Rowner Junior and LWS Academy – in the trust will be transported to the unit.

Rickard said: ‘It makes practical sense to have one in a school because not only will it be environmentally friendly and financially beneficial but it will also be very educational for students.’

Susan Hamilton, GFM finance director said: ‘This is an important part of the GFM’s sustainability agenda, helping to reduce our carbon footprint as well as being something to support school improvement through learning about environmental waste solutions and general health and wellbeing,

‘With costs of food as well as waste disposal continuing to rise it will also help to keep costs down so that we can divert more into classroom support whilst also helping the wider community.’

Some of the fresh produce that is being grown.

The trust is asking for small donations from local businesses and they have set up a Crowdfunder for the sustainable cause.