Recipes to use up leftovers - Love Food Hate Waste campaign website

Following trials of separate collections of food waste from over 94,000 UK households and the positive reception that the trial received, some local authorities are rolling out these collections permanently. In a bid to divert food waste from landfill, trials were run by 19 local authorities with a total of 78% of residents involved in the trial satisfied with the service and keen to continue. The collected food waste was either composted at in-vessel facilities or treated by anaerobic digestion.

Households were given a kitchen compost caddy, a supply of caddy liners (presumably of the compostable type) and a container for storing food waste in for collection. The average quantity of food waste collected per household was between 1.1 and 2.2 kgs, meaning a massive 4,400 tonnes of food waste diverted from landfill during the trial period, keeping 2,000 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted.

On analysis of the results of the trial it was concluded that:

  • The use of caddy liners, making the food collections clean and easy for residents, was an important factor in encouraging participation.
  • The trials haved encouraged changes in attitude towards food waste.
  • Weekly food waste collections have been shown to be more successful in areas where residual waste is fortnightly rather than weekly.
  • Size of household, lifestyle and communications strategies of different local authorities affect the amount of food waste collected.
  • Trials in more affluent areas achieved higher yields of food waste compared to the trials in less affluent areas. Is this because the affluent waste more, or because they are more interested in environmental issues?

Phillip Ward, Director for Local Government Services at WRAP said:

“We throw away 6.7 million tonnes of food every year in the UK – £10 billion pounds worth- and most of that goes to landfill. Even those households that believe they aren’t producing much or any food waste are discarding on average nearly 3kg per week.

“The first priority is to try to reduce this level of waste. Through the Love Food Hate Waste campaign WRAP is working hard to raise awareness and provide practical suggestions to consumers on how they can reduce food wastage. However, at the same time, we must ensure that the food waste which is produced is diverted from landfill, so that we can avoid the production of methane and other global warming gases.

“We are therefore delighted by the results of these trials, which show that if consumers are given the right tools and are provided with a good service, they will participate in initiatives to cut waste being sent to landfill. We hope that separating their waste in this way will also encourage them to think about how they buy and manage their food in the home. WRAP will now be working with local authorities to share the knowledge gained from the trials and the successes achieved. We are also pleased that several of the authorities involved in the trials have already taken decisions to roll out food waste collections to more households”.

Check out the Love Food Hate Waste website for leftover recipes from top chefs, tips on food storage to help it keep longer and other interesting info on cutting down on food waste.

Did you take part in this food waste trial? How did you get on with it? Do you prefer it to composting your own food waste? Leave a comment.