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Stevenage residents throw away a vast amount of food waste over the Christmas period. Over the week of Christmas, British households as a whole will waste over £485 million on food.

We must work harder to reduce food waste; it is a very precious resource which involves a huge use of energy from farm to your home. If it goes wasted to landfill, it doesn’t just waste your money, it also creates potent greenhouse gases which are accelerating climate change. Food waste must be prevented as part of our goal as a town to get Stevenage to net zero emissions by 2030. You may not know that if food waste was a country, it would have the third-highest emissions after only the US and China.

However, we do understand that however much families love leftovers, some food waste is inevitable and are asking residents to use the food waste recycling system. Throwing away food waste in the general bin increases the costs of disposal by the council; Recycling food costs around half as much as putting it in the general waste bin. Remember that your green caddy is the one for food waste. When your green caddy gets full, it can be emptied into your brown bin.

Cllr John Gardner, Executive Member for the Environment and Regeneration at Stevenage Borough Council said:

“For many people Christmas is about spending time with family and friends over a good feast and sometimes there is food waste. Before the festive season gets going, we are asking people to consider if they might be over-ordering. The average household throws away around £70 per month of food, and more over Christmas; this equates to 74 million mince pies or five million Christmas puddings across the country.

“If food goes into landfill, it will soon generate methane; a greenhouse gas over 25 times more harmful to our environment than carbon dioxide. We must act to stop this to get Stevenage to net zero emissions by 2030. May I take this opportunity to wish all Stevenage residents a very happy festive holiday period, and thank them for supporting the climate change campaign.”

Waste and recycling officers believe that with careful planning, food waste at Christmas and year-round can be significantly reduced. Love Food Hate Waste is a national website with a portion control calculator or you can download the free app.

Some good steps to take ahead of the week itself are to write a shopping list so you only buy what you need. It’s also a good idea to plan your meals so you know what you’re cooking and make portion control your friend so you’ve not got a glut of unused food. It’s also a good move to clear out your freezer ahead of time so you have space to freeze any leftovers.

Reducing food waste is one of the easiest things we can do to help the environment; let’s do our bit to cut food waste to enjoy a green Christmas and New Year.

Further information about recycling can be found by visiting the waste and recycling pages and your bin collection dates over the festive period have now been published.