Lichfield residents urged to cut down on food waste

A new campaign is urging Lichfield residents to reduce the amount of food they throw away.

In the UK, we throw away a third of the food we buy. Not only is this a waste of money, but producing and transporting food is a major contributor to climate change.

That is why Lichfield District Council is asking local people to cut down on the amount of food that ends up in landfill this summer.

Lichfield District Council's Recycling & Street Scene Development Officer Christine Cole

Lichfield District Council's Recycling & Street Scene Development Officer Christine Cole

Christine Cole, Recycling & Street Scene Development Officer for Lichfield District Council, said:

“When we checked a number of sample black bins, to find out if residents are disposing of waste that could be recycled, we were shocked to see just how much food ends up being thrown away. At the moment local people are only recycling five percent of their food waste. This means we’re still sending tonnes of unnecessary waste to landfill. Not only is this damaging to the environment, it also means paying avoidable landfill tax – currently set at £40 for each tonne of waste.”

To turn things around locally, Lichfield District Council is promoting Wrap’s national campaign Love Food, Hate Waste. This is the campaign that gives handy tips and recipes to use up leftover and spare food.

The council is handing out free Love Food, Hate Waste recipe cards, at a series of summer road shows. From vegetable lasagne, to spaghetti bolognese, through to roast lamb salad on a potato cake, the recipe cards offer lots of inventive and delicious alternatives to throwing away perfectly good food.

The first road show to kick off the series is taking place at Tesco in Burntwood on June 26 from 10am to 2pm as part of National Recycle Week.

Christine added:

“On top of reusing food that’s within its use-by date, we also want to remind people that spoiled food, and food peelings, scraps and bones can be added to local residents’ brown bins. The best thing about recycling your food waste is that it is turned into nutrient rich compost which can then be used to grow more carbon off-setting plants.”

To make it easier for local people to recycle their food waste, the council is handing out free kitchen caddies at the Tourist Information Centre, in the Lichfield Garrick. This nifty little brown tub sits on your kitchen work surface, and is a great place to store food waste before adding it to your brown bin.

To find out more about recycling food waste visit www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/brownbin and to see top tips and recipes by celebrity chefs, visit www.lovefoodhatewaste.com.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

17 Comments

  1. Tax Payer

    19th June, 2009 at 11:23 am

    “When we checked a number of sample black bins, to find out if residents are disposing of waste that could be recycled, we were shocked to see just how much food ends up being thrown away. At the moment local people are only recycling five percent of their food waste. ”
    What street(s) did you use as a base line?
    How many bins did you look in?
    How much was in each black bin -IE Bin 1 amount – Bin 2 amount etc?
    You would then have done the same with the brown bin – amounts please.
    Did you use scales?
    Or did you use an expert to value it?
    How much food did the corresponding householder buy each week – IE Bin 1 house amount – Bin 2 house amount etc??
    Plus any other additional data which may help us to understand the problem.

    A lot of questions but you will already have this info to hand.

  2. Streethay Swampy

    19th June, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    Instead of collecting the kitchen caddies from the Tourist Information Centre why don’t the refuse collectors deliver one to each door when emptying our bins?

  3. Tax Payer

    19th June, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Swampy..Is it because we are paying the Garrick to hand them out?

  4. Streethay Swampy

    19th June, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Could be, let’s pay someone instead of using a resourse that is already there

  5. Wigot

    19th June, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    I suggest dumping all non-recycled food waste at Michael Fabricant’s house: help him cut down on those embarrassing sustenance expenses claims…

  6. Tax Payer

    19th June, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    Wigot.

    What i can not get over is they get about the same for food while away from home (4 nights?) as a pensioner gets to pay tax food utility bills etc and just as we MAY see the x’s cut they get a nice big rise!

  7. Tax Payer

    23rd June, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Christine Cole.
    You appear to enjoy making the headlines to start a debate but not so keen to reply to questions!
    Any chance you could spare the time to reply – after all we do pay your wages!!!
    In addition to the above questions – why do we have the Garrick handling the boxes when a lot of people already go into the council offices only a few yards away?
    Please tell me we do not pay the Garrick for this service.

  8. Stuart Harrison

    1st July, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    Hi all,

    Caddies are being given away from the Lichfield Garrick because it is a central location with reception staff (also LDC employees). You can also pick up caddies from the Forg Lane offices or the Burntwood local office at Burntwood Library. The reason we don’t send them out to every household is because there simply isn’t room on the refuse trucks.

    The data about food waste was comissioned and carried out by WRAP and cost the council nothing. The report is not out of draft, but as soon as it is published you will be able to get all the details from the WRAP website (www.wrap.org.uk) or by emailing waste.strategy@lichfielddc.gov.uk

  9. Tax Payer

    1st July, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    Thank you for telling us the boxes are available at more than one place however would it have not been more skillful communicating to tell us that in the article instead of us having to extract it!
    With regard to the waste data.Are you telling us that you accepted the data without checking its validity?
    They must have the info to arrive at a conclusion – why did you not ask for it?

  10. Phil

    2nd July, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Please be aware that The Lichfield Blog isn’t affiliated with any outside organisation, including local government, and therefore there is no guarantee that anyone from any organisation we report on will be able to respond to your questions. Specific questions are better directed at the organisations themselves.

  11. Tax Payer

    2nd July, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    PHIL.
    I do understand your point however I would think if someone contributes a quote towards an article they should be interested enough to read it or do i expect too much for my hard earned cash!

  12. Phil

    2nd July, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    The press release that this post was generated from would have gone to a large number of other local media. To expect every single one to be followed up, I believe, is a bit much. Even so, your questions would still be better answered by the council directly. If you feel the answers need to be publicised more widely then feel free to send them into us. In fact, we’re always looking for contributors from the community.

  13. Tax payer

    4th July, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    This type of communication is comparatively new (at least it is to me) so I hope no one thinks I am trying to start a problem.
    My initial comment/questions earned a negative response.Whoever you are you have the right to disagree with me.
    However could you please explain why you disagree with me asking questions?
    I admit I prefer to check the validity of data.
    You will notice that although the article states (WE) which suggests the Local Council conducted the experiment – in fact it was done by another organization.
    Up to now my questions have revealed the bins are available at multiple locations,not one as implied in the article, the council did not conduct the experiment themselves,the council did not check the raw data and up to now no one can supply the raw data for perusal.
    You will also have noted that not all the staff that work at the Garrick are on their payroll.
    This would appear to have the effect of reducing the headline subsidy amount while still lumbering the tax payer with the costs.
    I thought,quite incorrectly, that the council was paying a small handling fee to the Garrick now we are told it is the total wage bill !

  14. Phil

    4th July, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    I don’t disagree that you should ask questions. To the contrary, I encourage it and the blog is a great platform for the community to get engaged and hold the local authority to account, just like you are doing. I too would like to see your questions answered on this post. My personal view is that that is the best outcome for anyone reading the post and your questions.

    At the same time, however, I understand that the local authority may not know of the post and the questions, or they may not want to reply here for some reason. Like I said, your answers should be forthcoming from the council directly and if you were to get those answers I would ask that you re-post them here for the benefit of everyone. It may even be that it is worth an entire separate post so that the issue can gain more exposure. We’re a community driven site and as a member of the community you can determine the agenda in that sense.

  15. Tax payer

    4th July, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Have you ever watched -prime ministers question time – PMQs ?If so have you noticed how often a question is answered or should I say not answered and that is at the top level.
    I have tried to ask questions of our council – total waste of time and effort.
    My hope is that letters in the paper and/or these new media will build up knowledge in the community who will then be more aware of the terrible waste of funds.
    Nice chatting to you PHIL – if I ever see you in a pub we will have a good debate.

  16. Tax payer

    9th September, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    I did write numerous times but apparently how they arrived at their data is a national secret – well it might as well be because I could get no meaningful info out of them!
    Let me quote just some items from the details they sent – the average person collectively throws away 11,000 tonnes per annum of wait for it – Pheasants!! how many of you have even seen a pheasant for sale let alone purchased some and then thrown them away!!!
    Next item – Desserts purchased per person per year £20 – thrown away £Zero – purchased by the UK population £600M – thrown away £200M – %thrown away 27.2%.
    If a person purchased £20 and the Uk equals 60,000,000 people – 60M times £20 does not equal £600M!!!!If a person on average throws away £zero how does that times 60m equal £200M!!!!! and how is £200M 27.2% of £600M!!!!
    I have read 236 pages of the above type of rubbish and come to the conclusion that few in authority has read it or at least they did not understand it!
    There is of course a simple explanation – WRAP is a quango – need I say more than Cameron get rid of this waste! Pardon the pun.