Members of Northumberland County Council’s waste management team are attending shows and food festivals over the next few weeks – sharing information and know-how on reducing waste.
At Glendale Show and Berwick and Alnwick Food Festivals staff will run a stall showing visuals and providing free leaflets with food saving tips, as well as information for Northumberland residents on what they should and should not put in their recycling bin.
Every year the UK throws away £10 billion worth of food which could have been eaten – a waste of food and money, and a major contributor to climate change.
A key message is that reducing what you buy in the first place is often better than having to recycle or reuse later, so shopping wisely is the name of the game. Choosing fruit and vegetables that have not been pre-packed for example means that you get exactly the amount you need.
If you do find yourself with too much food the Love Food Hate Waste campaign can help you to find recipes tailored to the ingredients you have. It provides lots of tasty leftover recipes, a portion calculator, top tips and date label advice to help us make the most of the food we buy – you can find out more at the council stall.
Reusing items limits the amount that is thrown away. For example, donating furniture and clothes to charity shops, and reusing plastic bottles as cloches in the garden, are good ways of finding alternative uses for items once they are no longer fit for their original purpose.
Recycling saves natural resources, for example 25 polyethylene plastic bottles can be recycled into a fleece jacket, reducing the need to use raw materials such as oil.
It also conserves energy, as recycling a single glass bottle saves enough energy to power a 100 watt light bulb for almost an hour, or a colour TV for 20 minutes.
Northumberland residents use a twin-bin system for gathering their waste – with one bin for items that can be recycled through the council’s processing plant and one for items that can’t be recycled or reused – which are sent to an energy from waste plant.
Anyone with queries about the materials that can be put in the recycling bin, and why, can come along to the stall and talk to staff. They will also be able to provide advice on how to recycle or reuse a range of other items.
Councillor Alan Thompson, executive member responsible for waste management at Northumberland County Council said: “Residents in Northumberland are already doing a great job with recycling – but there is always more that can be done.
“Our team want to help people to think a bit differently about how they shop, and what we can all do to contribute to conserving resources. I urge people to come along to the stall to find out more.”
The council stall will be at The Glendale Show at Wooler on Monday August 27th, Berwick Food Festival on September 8th and 9th and Alnwick Food Festival on September 22nd and 23rd.
Lots of information on recycling and how to manage waste can be found on the council’s website at www.northumberland.gov.uk/waste