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Success of campaign to cut food waste

Published on Thursday, 3rd August 2017 in Council news news

Thousands of South Yorkshire residents are taking part in a national campaign to waste less food.

Love Food Hate Waste has been on tour in Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham talking to local people in town centres and supermarkets about cutting down on food waste and saving money into the bargain.

The BDR (Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham) Waste Partnership has run the campaign in conjunction with food waste reduction charity WRAP.

A series of 21 events included cookery demonstrations featuring leftovers, and useful giveaways such as recipe cards, re-usable shopping bags, rice scoops and measuring spoons. Many people signed pledges to throw away less food and promote the idea to friends and family on social media.

The campaign gained a big following on Facebook and Twitter.  Lots of tips were exchanged on storing food, using up leftovers and making less waste.

According to Community Education Liaison Officer, Abi Cox, based at BDR’s waste treatment facility at Manvers, around 40% of leftover household waste is made up of food which need not have been thrown away.

“The campaign was really well received by the public. People were happy to discuss items they put in their bins and we were able to offer some tips and advice they found useful,” she said.

“It’s great because wasting less food benefits everyone. We can all save up to £60 a month per household by cutting down the food we put in our bins and obviously everyone would love an extra £700 a year to spend on things like holidays, family days out or simply to make life more comfortable.

“For the Councils it’s brilliant because it cuts down on the amount of food waste we have to collect and treat. And it also gave us an opportunity remind people that if they do have to throw food away, please either compost it or wrap it carefully before disposing of it in the bin.”

Rotherham Council’s Assistant Director for Community Safety and Street Scene, Karen Hanson, said: “The whole campaign is about making simple changes to the way we shop, the way we store foods, and how we use the food we buy.  No-one likes throwing away food, and there are lots of little things we can all do which add up to a really big change without great expense or effort.”

The BDR Waste Partnership is made up of Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham councils together with 3SE, a consortium of Shanks, an international waste-to-product business and SSE, one of the UK’s leading energy companies. 

The award-winning facility at Manvers deals with 250,000 tonnes of leftover household waste a year from 340,000 homes across Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham, turning it into useful products including electricity. Since it opened in July 2015, more than 96% of waste has been successfully diverted from landfill. More than 50 jobs have also been created in the Dearne Valley.

Across the UK, a staggering 7.3 million tonnes of food waste is thrown away each year, at a cost to UK householders of £13 billion a year.

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