Fun food waste campaign to increase recycling

Fun food waste campaign to increase recycling

It’s fun, it’s exciting – and “Slim My Waste, Feed My Face” is Somerset’s biggest-ever food recycling campaign, with a very serious aim.

Rolling out in coming weeks, Slim My Waste, Feed My Face will see thousands of rubbish and food bins transformed into colourful eye-catching reminders to recycle every scrap of food waste.

Starting in Mendip, then sweeping south and west, Slim My Waste, Feed My Face teams will give every household’s rubbish bin a bright yellow tape measure round it its middle, a “no food waste” notice on top, and deliver each home an information pack on why food recycling is so important.

Fun stickers in each Slim My Waste pack means every resident can decorate their bin to give it a great new face and powerful personality as a happy “feed my face” hint about recycling all waste food, and then share the pictures on social media; your ace face could win free eco-goodies.

Slim My Waste, Feed My Face has already proved a big hit in Bristol, which saw a jump in food waste recycling, while earlier, less colourful food campaigns by Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) were also a success.

No amount is too small – recycling six tea bags produces enough electricity to boil a kettle for another cuppa.

And big savings are possible; if every scrap of Somerset’s food waste was recycled, it would save almost £1 million a year to fund other vital local services.

Most people in Somerset recycle their food waste, far more than the national average, perhaps because the county pioneered weekly food waste collections more than a decade ago.

There is still plenty more to do as the average Somerset rubbish bin still has too much food waste, which is the worst material to be sent to costly and wasteful landfill, especially as it decays to produce powerful climate change gases.

For about half the cost of landfill, all food waste can be recycled in Somerset by the anaerobic digestion plant near Bridgwater into electricity to power homes and nutrient-rich farm compost to grow more food.

Full details of Slim My Waste, Feed My Face can be found at SWP’s website: www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/slimmywaste/

There will be frequent updates on Slim My Waste, Feed My Face on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtags #Slimmywaste and #FeedmyfaceSWP, including the shared images of the decorated food waste bins.

All food waste – raw, cooked, fresh or “off”, meat, fish, fruit or veg, pasta, cereal, bread and all plate scrapings – can be recycled every week, wrapped in newspaper or compostable bags.

Any home needing a free food waste bin should order one online now at www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/order-containers.

SWP Managing Director Mickey Green said: “This fun campaign has a very serious aim; while Somerset families recycle a lot, any food in rubbish bins is a very costly waste of a valuable resource.

“We are confident that this campaign will have a big impact, recycling thousands of tonnes of food waste, reducing our carbon emissions and saving hundreds of thousands of pounds.”

Food facts

* Food waste is a bigger cause of climate change than plastic (source: Zero Waste Scotland).

* Most Somerset residents – 62%, far higher than the national average of around 42% – recycle food waste, which becomes power for the National Grid and farm compost

* Somerset households produce 42,000 tonnes of food waste a year but waste composition analysis shows 42% of food is recycled, well below Somerset’s overall 52% recycling rate

* If every scrap of Somerset’s food waste was recycled at the anaerobic digestion plant near Bridgwater, it would save £950,000 and 882 tonnes CO2 equivalent a year

* Food waste is 26% of rubbish in bins, with over one third – 36% – of that food thrown away still in its packaging, including unopened and out of date food.