The Waste Warriors programme is coming to Merseyside, with the aim of reducing food waste across the region. The programme will be run by the British Dietetic Association (BDA) thanks to a £20,000 investment from the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA) and Veolia Community Fund 2022-2023.
With the UK on average throwing away 4.5 million tonnes of edible food and drink each year, it’s crucial that the UK gets this under control. The numbers equate to 244 kilograms per household, excluding inedible parts, or £730 per average household with children, ending up in the bin! Wasting food creates carbon, which contributes to Climate Change.
As well as the environmental benefits, reducing food waste can also have a positive impact on household budgets and will help to reduce the cost of living, by buying less and making the best use of the food available.
The Waste Warriors programme, which is run by the BDA’s Let’s Get Cooking initiative, helps households reduce their waste via tips and skills to turn the most wasted food into something tasty. This is supported by the development of a new community composting scheme for household waste and support for people wanting to grow their own fruit and veg.
Let’s Get Cooking has been providing expert advice on waste reduction through its education programmes across Merseyside for more than three years. This year, with the additional funding, it’s getting even more practical with Waste Warriors.
Suzanne Mitchell, Let’s Get Cooking Lead says, “The opportunity to support a local community in such a circular way is a really powerful idea. We hope to inspire households struggling with the current cost of living to think about new ways to save money by reducing the amount of food they throw away and growing their own produce using a community garden. The waste reduction equates to 1.82 tonnes CO2 for the local area.”
300 Let’s Get Merseyside Saving packs will be distributed to households in Merseyside and Halton, and to participants taking part in community cooking sessions in the local network of Let’s Get Cooking clubs. The packs will support them reduce the amount of wasted food, have fun cooking the recipes and enjoy eating the meals.
Carl Beer, Chief Executive, Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority says, “MRWA is delighted to support the project and the production of this activity pack. The facts show that on average we throw away over 134,000 tonnes of food every year on Merseyside – that’s almost a third of the average general household waste bin. That includes millions of loaves of bread and litres of milk. The figures may be surprising, but by using this pack and using up leftovers people can help to reduce this waste and save money.”
The local Let’s Get Cooking clubs will also receive additional funding from the project to deliver 50 local cooking and food events this Autumn, impacting approximately 3000 beneficiaries.
In partnership with Compost Works, a Liverpool-based social enterprise with the mission of diverting food from being wasted, the project will also offer a community composting facility in Liverpool, once a suitable site has been identified. This will support and inspire people in the region to collect peelings, tea bags, egg shells and uncooked produce, as well as brown waste like paper. These can be brought to a central point in the community, providing a local source of compost for other growing projects.
Preventing food waste has the same benefit to the environment as taking 1 in 5 cars off the road – so with current concerns around inflation on food prices, helping households make the most of their shopping, while also supporting community growing, is a definite win for the people of Merseyside.
The programme is being launched to local residents from October 2022. Follow @BDAGetCooking for more updates.
Find out more about Let’s Get Cooking here: https://letsgetcooking.org.uk/