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Food waste needs localised strategies

The end of last year saw the announcement about which councils were to receive part of the £250m Weekly Collection Support Scheme from the communities department.

The end of last year saw the announcement about which councils were to receive part of the £250m Weekly Collection Support Scheme from the communities department.

Many councils saw it as an opportunity to fund separate weekly food waste collections - a big step forward. Since then, the shocking amount of food waste has hit the headlines.

Traditionally, councils have supported the ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ campaign to assist residents to reduce food waste, and separate food waste collections continue apace. But isn’t there something missing?

With food making up 18% of residual waste, disposal costs rising and people seeing their incomes stretched as never before, reducing food waste should be a main plank in both cost reduction strategies as well as those helping families to make ends meet.

So it might be time for councils to consider having their own corporate food security strategy. This could pull together work that is currently being done by Sure Start, healthy eating programmes, credit unions, cookery classes, training for independent living, budgeting, food banks and, of course, the waste teams.

Envisage a policy that helps households save up to £50 a month and goes some way to reducing the £1bn we spend on disposal.

Come on - we have all had harder messages to sell than that.

Joy Blizzard, Chair of the Local Authorities Recycling Advisory Committee

This first appeared in our sister publication LGC

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