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Food Waste Action Week This Week

This week is Food Waste Action week when our focus is helping residents to reduce food waste – a contributor to climate change.

It is estimated that the majority of food waste (70 per cent) which is thrown away in the UK comes from households – so we can all do our bit.  

In South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse districts it’s estimated that residents put around 700 tonnes of food** into their black bins in one month alone, emitting nearly 150 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO₂e)*** into the atmosphere.

As well as wasting valuable resources, it is estimated the average family of four could save £720* a year by wasting less food through reducing their food waste.

Love Food Hate Waste has five top tips to reduce food waste. Most can be achieved from the comfort of your own kitchen.

  • Make a list! Buy only what you need and then eat what you buy
  • Use or freeze leftovers – cooked too much for tonight’s dinner? It could be lunch tomorrow (or in a month’s time if you use your freezer).
  • Do you need to alter your fridge temp – keep it to 5 degrees or lower to keep your food fresher for longer
  • Freeze what you won’t eat – you can freeze items up to and including their use by date
  • Talking of which – Keep an eye on date labelsUse by dates is not the same as best before which refers to quality and sell by which is a note for retailers.

If you have food waste you cannot use such as fruit and vegetable peelings, tea bags and coffee grounds then you could try home composting and use it to improve the soil in your garden****.

If you have in-date excess food that you cannot use, then you could donate it to a local community fridge or food bank.

Councillor Sue Cooper, South Oxfordshire District Council Cabinet member for Environment, Climate Change and Nature Recovery, said: “Our main message is to urge people to reduce their food waste as much as possible. We would suggest people eat up leftovers, donate in-date unused food to friends and family, a community fridge or a food bank.”

Councillor Catherine Webber, Vale of White Horse District Council Cabinet member for the Environment and Climate Emergency, said: “Sometimes there is food waste that some people cannot use up, such as bones or food that has spoiled then we would urge people to recycle it using the councils’ food waste recycling bins.

“The council collects food waste recycling each week. This is taken to an anaerobic digestion plant where the food waste is transformed into fertiliser for local farms and also electricity.”

Please use the food waste recycling bin for food waste. Never put food waste into your green recycling bin as it contaminates the recycling and makes it unusable.

  • The councils’ waste team will be out and about during Food Waste Action week at Wantage Market on 9 March and Wallingford Market on 11 March. They will be giving out advice on how to reduce your food waste and also offering food waste recycling caddies to collect food waste recycling.

Notes to editors

*70 per cent of all food that’s thrown away in the UK comes from our homes.

The average family of four can save just over £60 per month by reducing their food waste.  (

** Following analysis of waste from residents undertaken by Measurement Evaluation Learning Research team earlier this year.

***Carbon dioxide equivalent CO₂e –This is a measure used to compare the emissions from various greenhouse gases based upon their global warming potential (GWP). (Source OECD)

****More info on home composting is on Oxfordshire County Council’s website here