Reducing waste and lowering its green footprint has been an ideal for the Threshold Centre from the outset. The building project allowed a complete assessment of the alternatives and how to apply them to the site. Outlined below are the specific ways in which we address sustainability issues.
Gardens and permaculture
The vegetable garden uses compost produced onsite and rainwater collected from houses and also polytunnel guttering. The gardeners are committed to organic and permaculture principles. Produce is used onsite particularly for communal meals.
All waste water is treated on site. Two cottages use a septic tank. All the rest of the dwellings use the biodigester which produces clean water for disposal into the onsite stream.
A large photovoltaic array has been installed all over the site including on our Farmhouse.
The whole site is served by a wood-pellet-burning boiler system which provides hot water and heats radiators in all the homes.
Recycling water and waste
Threshold collects rainwater for use in the laundry and in the gardens. Waste from all households are collected and sorted for council collection, composting or delivery to disposal sites.
How eco are we?
Biomass hot water/ central heating system for all buildings on site
Photo-voltaic panels for additional electricity supply
Buy electricity from ‘green’ supplier
Minimise waste – use what’s here already before buying new, THEN buy eco/degradable etc. Re-use, re-cycle (eg in garden, old planters, tyres, bean support)
Renovated buildings to high standards of heat and sound insulation/ passive solar gain, achieving high eco homes rating
Bringing existing buildings up to standard through maintenance and modernisation, addition of porches etc.
Double-glazing units on windows, carry on draught proofing, curtaining doors etc.
Rain water harvesting maximised and rationalised on new-build within a complete system involving guttering on all buildings, existing drains/soakaways and new septic tank system
New Bio-disc septic tank system with end product clean enough to be voided into the stream
Rain water harvested in butts on existing buildings
Use of recycled rainwater in shared laundry
Garden organically (unless crisis with Japanese Knotweed)
Garden and market garden to grow organic veg for the community and for courses
Compost all appropriate organic matter