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Go cold turkey on food waste this Christmas

Thousands of turkey bones and sprouts are set to avoid ending up landfill this Christmas as more than 240,000 households in Scotland have access to a food waste recycling service for the first time.

17 Dec 14

Across Scotland 1.3m households now have access to a food waste collection.

This means that over half of Scottish households are able to separate their food waste, with new collections introduced this year in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Dumfries and Galloway, East Ayrshire, West Dunbartonshire and West Lothian.

The average family spends £170 on its big Christmas food and drink shop, with a quarter of this ending up in the bin. 

Zero Waste Scotland is calling on householders to reduce food waste by making simple changes to the way we plan, store and portion food, and make the most of our leftovers.  All unavoidable food waste, such as bones and vegetable peelings should be put in food waste collections where possible.

When sent to landfill, food waste breaks down releasing methane, a harmful greenhouse gas.  However when recycled, the waste is transformed into energy and fertiliser, reducing the impact on the environment.

Cabinet Secretary for Food Richard Lochhead said:

“While it’s better if left-over food can be safely stored to be eaten, the festive season is also an ideal time to recycle unavoidable food waste like plate-scrapings. With over half of households across the country now having access to food waste recycling, more people than ever before can use their food waste service, and reduce the impact on our environment this festive season.”

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland said:

“Just a few years ago, no households in Scotland had access to a food waste recycling collection, so it’s great to see that over half are now able to put their food waste to good use – with this number set to grow even more in the coming year.

“Of course the best thing we can do over the festive period, and the rest of the year, is to buy only what we need, plan our meals and make the most of leftovers.  This will reduce our impact not just on the environment, but also on our bank balances.”

Aberdeen City Council Recycling Co-ordinator Martina Klubal said:

"During 2014, Aberdeen City Council has provided a food recycling service for even more households across the city. 89,664 properties now have the service and residents can recycle their food waste either in the food recycling bins on their street or in their brown wheelie bins.

“The food recycling service is convenient and easy to use, ideal for recycling any unwanted food left over from Christmas dinner or parties. And as all the food that's recycled in Aberdeen is sent to a local facility to be turned into compost, this year's leftover sprouts could end up growing next year's Christmas tree!"

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