Wick Curiosity Shop

Learn to build an Anaerobic Digester





Mobile Garden City
Corner of Temple Mills Lane and Honour Lea Ave
Chobham Manor Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
E15 2ER

Join us for a series of hands-on workshops about micro anaerobic digestion, food waste sustainability, clean fuel and fertiliser. You can join for the morning from 10.30AM, afternoon from 2PM - 5pm, or all day.

We are in the final stages of building a mobile micro anaerobic digester (AD), which demonstrates the waste to energy cycle. Anaerobic digestion is an established technology that transforms all organic waste (except wood) into useful by-products. Microorganisms break down the waste producing biogas - a clean, renewable fuel and digestate - a nutrient-rich liquid fertiliser.

The AD project aims to demonstrate the potential for urban energy projects to help communities become more empowered producers and consumers of energy.

Community energy is rare in urban areas even though cities are full of low carbon sources of energy. Thrown away food is one of these, and can be used to make low-carbon biogas, which is used for cooking, heating, lighting etc. Successful community energy projects need systems tailored to specific sites and resources and work best when local people are involved. This autumn, we have the opportunity to teach people how to build a digester and design a closed food-waste-energy model from scratch. We are looking for people who would like to learn skills, be part of a collaborative design process, and build an exciting demonstration of urban sustainability.

We are planning to have fortnightly assembly workshops

We are meeting every other weekend to continue construction
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You can reserve a place by emailing us here, or simply turn up on the day. Please be prepared for getting hands-on and wear appropriate clothing and foot-wear. No previous construction knowledge is needed.
We intend for these participatory weekend sessions to take place on a fortnightly basis in order to progress the construction of the digester. The sessions will be divided into task groups. Please commit at least a half day' session to help your designated team carry out a task.


The UCL Energy Institute delivers world-leading learning, research and policy support on the challenges of climate change and energy security. Our approach blends expertise from across UCL, to make a truly interdisciplinary contribution to the development of a globally sustainable energy system. We are part of The Bartlett: UCL's global faculty of the built environment
UCL Energy supports action research projects, which aim to learn from and support participants as they implement solutions to real world problems. Community Energy is recognised as having the potential to transform the UK’s energy system and put energy consumers into the centre of small-scale production, distribution and use networks. This project offers an opportunity to understand the challenges and benefits of groups who take this step. The project has the potential to contribute to broader understanding of the potential of community energy and closed loop cycles. Using micro AD in an urban environment to bring together food waste reduction, green energy production and support for local community initiatives is novel and offers great learning potential.

LEAP is a cross-sector partnership combining engineering, process modeling, community engagement and environmental education skills to develop micro anaerobic digestion – a small-scale renewable technology, which turns organic waste into clean fuel and liquid fertiliser. LEAP envisions a future where decentralized, closed-loop waste management and intensive urban agriculture is combined to reduce food and waste miles.
With two demonstration sites in Central London, we are currently optimising the technology and hope to support the creation of green jobs. Advocating a local approach to the organic circular economy, we aim to empower communities and bring environmental and economic benefits to both urban and rural areas.
We have developed training workshops and an educational schools programme, and hope to establish an open source platform to accelerate global collaboration and support the uptake of closed-loop solutions.

MOBILE GARDEN CITY is a new temporary community garden and growing space at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The garden is a community-led interim use project and will be open until December 2016.
Following this, a permanent community facility will be built on the Chobham Manor site and the intention is for the mobile garden will move to a new location on the Park.