This story was published 27 March 2018

In 2015, seven million tonnes of food and drink waste was thrown away from UK homes, over four million tonnes of which was avoidable.

Lynda Young

It’s also estimated that of waste thrown away in the UK each year almost one third could be transformed into compost at home.

To help tackle these issues and inspire people to change their waste habits, the County Council coordinates a series of talks and activities at events, shows and schools across North Yorkshire supported by a team of dedicated volunteers known as the Rotters.

Now the County Council is launching a campaign to recruit more volunteers to join their team of Rotters, with a particular need in Selby where there is only one Rotter to cover events in the area.

Selby resident Lynda Young has been volunteering with the Rotters for over four years. After a long career in nursing, Lynda retired ten years ago.

“Once I had time on my hands I was keen to find something like this. I thought it would be just the thing really as I’m interested in conservation and gardening and feel very passionate about recycling. The main thing is that I can please myself when I volunteer. It suits me because I’ve got lots of other interests as well.”

“You meet some great people volunteering with the Rotters and we have a wonderful time. It’s nice when you meet someone with similar beliefs to yourself and when you know you’re making a difference no matter how small.”

For people who are passionate about environmental issues, being a Rotter is a great way to get involved with their local community by raising awareness of the importance of home composting, promoting the Love Food Hate Waste campaign and encouraging people to reduce, reuse and recycle. For younger people, being a Rotter is a good way to gain valuable skills and work experience.

Rotters are not committed to give a specific number of hours each month and can choose which events they are able to attend. Many members of the team volunteer elsewhere and a third combine being a Rotter with paid employment.

Rotters are provided with a uniform and training as well as ongoing support from a dedicated volunteer coordinator.

If you’re interested in joining the Rotters, fill in your details online. Alternatively call 01609 797212 or send an email to