Compost Works is a Liverpool-based social enterprise with the mission of diverting food waste from incineration and landfill. We set up communal composting facilities and run educational activities to do with composting awareness. We want to inspire people in the Liverpool City Region to compost their food waste.
Our premise is that food waste is not rubbish!
It shouldn’t go into a landfill or be incinerated, which are not environmentally sound waste disposal practices. Composting is a natural process where food waste breaks down through the activity of microscopic organisms and larger soil creatures, such as worms. This builds soil life and makes nutrients available to plants.
Since 2019, we have set up a number of composting facilities in communities and for local business across Liverpool City Region. Compost produced from these sites is used for local growing projects and to enhance community green spaces. This is circular economy – local food waste gets converted into compost and then used to grow more food.
Food waste is not rubbish!
CEO and Founder
I’m a lifelong environmentalist and home composter. I grew up in Finland with ecologically conscious parents whose environmental values were firmly instilled in me. We always composted everything at home, and when I moved out to study at university and later to live in the UK, I continued to find ways to compost at home (although some of my early experimental home wormeries are best not discussed further!).
I started developing the concept of Compost Works in 2018 to be the change I wanted to see in the world. The organisation took shape during my year at the School of Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) Start Up Programme in the North West. Compost Works was registered as a company soon after I graduated from SSE in autumn 2019. I’m now lucky to be on SSE’s Trade Up Programme to develop the organisation further. Prior to running Compost Works, I spent 20 years working in the voluntary sector in Liverpool.
I am passionate about composting. We live in times where we are facing a number of environmental threats and concerns, many caused by human activity. The amount of rubbish we produce is one. Composting is something that anyone can do, given the opportunity and the tools. There is a real environmental impact in reducing household waste and turning your food waste into nutritious compost.
Dr Emily Bethell
I am a Senior Lecturer in Primate Behaviour at Liverpool John Moores University, where I run the MSc in Primate Behaviour and Conservation. I have had a life-long interest in wildlife and the environment, conducting primatological research in Africa and Central America, and more recently additionally working on primate welfare in captivity. Having spent my 20s and 30s living in a bus and a boat I didn’t start composting until more recently when I had a more permanent outdoor space.
I now live in St Michael’s Hamlet with my three rescue cats and four ex-battery hens, and a now well-established composting system, which feeds my allotment. The composting system comprises a wormery and two bokashi bins for food waste, and two large outdoor composters where all compostable waste ends up. The joy of redirecting waste from landfill and using it to grow food is something I want to share with everyone who has even the slightest interest. Composting is a win-win and I hope we can get community-scale composting running across Liverpool.
I am experienced in business, with over 25 years in various technical, business and leadership roles in a global materials innovation company. During the four years as a site manager in Liverpool, I became familiar with HS&E policies and practices required for running a technical facility. With a MSc in Chemical Engineering and currently finalising Environmental Management MBA in Bangor Business School in North Wales I am currently very much involved in circular economy initiatives for my employer at European level with focus on advancing circularity for plastics.
I grew up in the countryside in Finland, and from early age appreciated the value of nature and how important it is to human well-being. At home, composting was an essential source to nurture the vegetable garden and berry bushes every spring. After moving with work to the North West of England this habit has continued.
I currently live on the Wirral with my family and two dogs. In the corner of our garden is a large worm compost that works throughout the year producing fantastic compost. It is very satisfying to see how food waste turns into beautiful compost that makes our garden bloom. Educating people to compost and making it practically feasible to accomplish can only benefit our long-term sustainable future. Community composting is a great initiative that at a grassroots level can help to deliver this.
I am a retired business adviser and have helped numerous individuals and businesses to set up as social enterprises and community organisations throughout the UK. I have more than 30 years of experience in these sectors and I also class coaching and mentoring as part of my many business skills.
I was one of three women who set up Energywise Recycling, which had as part of it’s remit to create a doorstep collection of items to recycle. The legacy of this social enterprise is now that Liverpool City Council has a regular kerb box collection of paper, bottles and cans that are recycled and not sent to landfill. This makes me very proud to see people recycle and know that I had a part in the first stages of this.
I am a lifelong environmentalist and vegetarian with a collection of three cats and one border collie who are all rescue animals. I am the chair of the Friends of Greenbank Park and the secretary for Liverpool Parks Friends Forum.
I believe in effecting change that has a positive impact on people’s lives and see Compost Works as an excellent vehicle to do this. Mahatma Ghandi said ‘be the change you wish to see’ which is a good reminder for us to do something that will benefit our planet.