University of Bradford case study

University of Bradford
A700/A900 Rocket supplied by Tidy Planet
The University of Bradford is situated close to the city centre on a 32
hectare site and has 13,000 students and 3,000 staff. The University
wanted a closed loop sustainable solution to avoid waste disposal to
landfill, produce a nutrient rich compost and reduce the transport and
disposal costs of its organic waste. The Rocket was chosen as it was
thought to be the best product on the market to meet the University’s
requirements and presented value for money at the time of purchase.
Nature and quantity of waste treated on site
• The Rocket treats food waste including cooked and uncooked
meat/fish plus garden waste from the estate grounds
• The majority of the waste collected previously was sent to landfill
apart from the food waste collected in the kitchen of the main
restaurant which was sent for composting locally
• The University now has two Rockets (A700 and A900) which combined
compost around 25.4 tonnes of mixed food waste per year
Key features
Size: 3 x 0.9 x 1.6 m
Spatial requirements: Enclosed area 2m x 4m
Capacity: Treat approximately 300kg per week
Energy: 26kWh per week
Housing: Under cover on hard standing (non-porous)
Maintenance: Occasional: fuses, motors, with maintenance contract for A900
Output: Into compost within 14 days – combined composting capacity up to
25.4 tonnes of mixed food waste per year
“In the process of getting there we were delighted to experience
knock-on benefits other than financial – reputation, learning opportunity, etc…”
Ben Tongue, Environment Manager, University of Bradford
A700 Rocket in housing
University of Bradford
Lessons Learnt
The only challenge which arose initially was raising the awareness and enthusiasm of the staff managing the food waste;
Many additional benefits were realised such as enhancing reputation as a sustainable, innovative, and eco-friendly university.
How food is separated for treatment
• Food waste is collected back of house in 24 litre containers by kitchen
• Garden waste, such as tree prunings and grass cuttings, is collected by
grounds maintenance staff
• No extra staff resources are required as food separation and collection fits
easily with the existing responsibilities of staff
• Porters transport the food waste by university vehicles to the composting
How the on-site treatment system is managed
• Approximately 156 hours per year are required to run the composter (~25
minutes a day)
• Porters who transport the food waste also operate the machine
• The waste is mixed with equal quantities of woodchip (purchased
separately) which acts as a bulking agent and provides the appropriate
structure to aid the composting process
• Mixed material is added to the Rocket on a daily basis and within 14 days
is turned into compost
• External assistance is available from Tidy Planet if required and initial
training is provided for the operators
• After this initial period, training is undertaken internally and now the
University has a dedicated member of staff responsible for the operation
of the composter
• No significant health and safety concerns have arisen
Use of outputs from treatment
 The compost is used on the university grounds
 Any surplus compost is sold by the university, amounting to
£100s per year, which currently offsets the cost of woodchip
• Installation and start-up costs for the A700 Rocket was £18,000,
increasing to £30,000 for both
• The university does not think the electricity costs are significant
• Woodchip is purchased at £150 for 10m3 per year to mix with
food waste
• Since installing the composter the university requires two less
240 litres bin (which were solely dedicated to collected food
waste from the kitchen and main restaurant) plus additional
saving from the reduction in waste in the residual waste stream
• Saving £50 per week on collection and disposal costs from one
Rocket; saving from both is £100 per week
• The production of compost is seen as a perk rather than
replacing product purchase
• Payback period for the composters is estimated to be around 6
This case study is part of a series of case studies focussing on the on-site treatment of organic
waste. Other case studies in this series are:
 Eriska Hotel;
 Housing 21;
 Millets Farm Centre;
 University of Southampton;
 Dartington Primary school; and
 Her Majesty’s Prison Service
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Waste & Resources The Old Academy
Action Programme 21 Horse Fair
Banbury, Oxon OX16 OAH
Tel: 01295 819 900
Fax: 01295 819 911
E-mail [email protected]
Helpline freephone
0808 100 2040
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