Almost half of Hounslow bins filled with food waste as campaign launches

Hounslow Council is marking Food Action Waste Week (1-7 March) by challenging residents to make small changes that will make a big difference in the fight against climate change.

Published: Monday, 1st March 2021

Food action waste week
Food action waste week

Hounslow Council is challenging residents to make small changes that will make a big difference in the fight against climate change. 

Food Waste Action, a campaign which runs between March 1 – 7, is designed to get the UK public and organisations to reduce their food waste to as close to zero as possible over the seven days.

Wasting food is one of the biggest contributors to climate change. When we throw away food that could have been eaten, we are not just wasting food but the valuable resources that went into making it. This includes the water, land, and greenhouse gases.

The UK wastes 4.5 million tonnes of edible food every year, which is enough to make an extra 10 million meals.

In Hounslow alone, almost half of residents refuse bins are made up of food waste, and over 20 per cent of food found in food waste bins across the borough was avoidable waste that could have been eaten.

Councillor Guy Lambert, Cabinet Member for Highways, Recycling and Trading Companies at Hounslow Council, said:

“Hounslow residents show a great commitment to food waste recycling and we have a comprehensive plan in place to continue increasing the number of households with access to food recycling. We love that our residents recycle the food waste they generate because it gets processed in London to make fertiliser for agriculture and gas for domestic and transport use – which is much better than being incinerated in the general waste stream.

“However, in Hounslow we need to do much more to help reduce waste and carbon emissions. With residents spending more time at home than normal we have seen a big increase in waste including food compared to previous years.

“The next step in the fight against climate change for Hounslow residents is not simply to recycle their food waste, but to consider if it needs to end up in their food caddy in the first place. Of course, some food waste is unavoidable – make sure you recycle this if you can –but we are seeing increases in avoidable food waste.

“Making small changes to your daily routine can make a big difference, such as planning your meals for the week and only buying the food you need, understanding the difference between ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates or even making the most of your leftovers. These changes will not only help save the planet but also save money.”

Small changes to everyone’s daily habits can help reduce food waste and save the planet. These include:

  • Being clear on dates, use by dates are for safety but best before dates are all about quality it could still be consumed.
  • Creating new tasty recipes using leftover food.
  • Meal preparation and planning so you only buy what you need.
  • Lowering your fridge temperate to less than 5 degrees so food can stay fresh for longer.

Hounslow Council’s ambitious Climate Emergency Action plan encourages local food production through community growing projects and increasing food waste recycling across the borough by rolling out the service to flats and schools.

Since March 2020, over 7,000 new households have started to receive weekly food waste collections, and the Council has a target of reaching 24,000 households during 2021. In November last year, research by Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming, endorsed Hounslow’s plans to tackle carbon emissions from food waste as part of our Climate Emergency Action plan and that it was more comprehensive and ambitious than the Governments.

For more information visit www.hounslow.gov.uk/FoodActionWasteWeek

Food Action Waste Week (1-7 March) is organised by Love Food Hate Waste, which is part of The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP). It raises awareness of the environmental consequences of wasting food and promotes activities that will help make wasting food a thing of the past. For more information visit https://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/

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