North Somerset throws away 17,000 tonnes of food waste per year

Grand Pier recycling station

Grand Pier recycling station - Credit: Grand Pier

North Somerset Council, along with one-third of other authorities in the country, are years ahead of the government’s food-waste schedule, a study suggests.

According to waste-reduction charity Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), North Somerset recycles close to 17,000 tonnes of food waste annually.

This is largely due to the council's offering separate food waste collection for 97,000 of its households.

The government's Environmental Bill outlines plans for all households in the UK to have separate food waste collection by the year 2023, putting North Somerset ahead of the curve.

In data provided by 326 local authorities, WRAP shows the district to be in the minority 36 per cent that provide the service. Almost half, 160, of the councils that provided data for the charity do not provide any form of food-waste collection.

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The food-waste charity's findings are based on 2018-19 data, and some local authorities may have altered their services since.

In total, North Somerset households were responsible for 16,897 tonnes of discarded food in a year. WRAP's statistics also show the average UK home wastes eight meals worth of food per week.

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A spokeswoman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has promised that they will work with councils to end confusion over household recycling.

They added: "Nobody wants to see good, nutritious food going to waste and harming our environment."

But Carina Millstone, executive director of food-waste campaigners Feedback, has called the level of food wastage in the UK a 'nightmare'.

She said: "With over 10 million tonnes of food going to waste per year in the UK, food waste is an environmental nightmare of epic proportions. The good news is that halving our food waste is one of the most effective actions any of us can take to help address the climate emergency."

She added: "Councils have an important role to play. Sending food scraps to be composted or to be made into energy is far better than sending it to a landfill or to be incinerated."

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