Residents are being warned by Hounslow Council that throwing away their food waste is harming the environment. Asian Lite reports
Every year across Hounslow, tonnes of food is thrown away and buried in landfill. This rubbish releases methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas which contributes to global warming. But there is a solution.
Hounslow Council offers a free weekly food waste collection for most residents. The food waste collection covers:
– eggs and eggshells
– out of date food
– plate leftovers
– meat, fish and bones
– fruit and veg
– baked foods
– teabags and coffee grounds.
Food waste in Hounslow is collected and sent to a plant in Bedfordshire where it is treated using a process called anaerobic digestion. This uses microorganisms to break down food in an oxygen-free, enclosed system.
As the food rots, the methane is collected and converted into biogas; which is used to generate electricity, heat or transport fuel. During this process a biofertiliser is also created which is used in farming.
Hounslow Council is also encouraging residents to “think before they throw” to reduce the amount of food that’s wasted. This includes planning meals in advance and taking a shopping list to the supermarket to avoid buying unneeded items.
Councillor Amrit Mann, Deputy Leader of Hounslow Council, said: “People don’t realise how our mindless, throwaway culture is damaging the planet.
“Thinking before you throw – Can I use this? Can I recycle this? How can I prevent more waste like this? – can really make a difference to how much rubbish you collect over the week and throw away.
“Throwing away food is one of the most tragic examples of waste. Every year, the average family bins up to £700 of food that could have been saved from landfill. By thinking before you throw, you’re not only saving the planet, you’re saving money too.”
A lot of what is thrown away can used or frozen.
In the UK, 24 million slices of bread are thrown away every year – making it the UK’s most wasted food. Buying less bread, or freezing part of the loaf in an airtight bag saves you money – and reduces the risk of you falling unexpectedly short of bread. You can also toast bread from frozen.
This week (19 October) a series of posters will go up across Hounslow to promote the borough’s food waste collection service.
As part of the eco-drive, Hounslow Council last week teamed up with West London Waste and a group of volunteers from Barclays Bank. They paraded through the streets of Hounslow town centre with three shopping trolleys full of empty food packages to demonstrate the amount of food needlessly thrown away by the average Hounslow family.
During the stunt, information leaflets and food waste freebies were handed out to shoppers. Experts were on hand to answer recycling questions.
Get helpful tips online at www.hounslow.gov.uk/foodwaste where you can also read Food For Thought, one resident’s efforts to recycle her food waste.
Residents are encouraged to share their food saving tips online on Facebook www.facebook.com/hounslowcouncil or Twitter @LBofHounslow using #food4thought.
For tips on how to reduce your food waste visit the Love Food Hate Waste website www.lovefoodhatewaste.com