A new campaign is hoping to give households â€˜food for thoughtâ€™ on the amount they could save each year by eating smarter.
Belfast City Councilâ€™s latest waste reduction campaign launches today and is focusing on the amount of food an average household throws away each year â€“ approximately Â£680.
Since March 2010, 70,000 households across Belfast can now recycle food waste in their brown bins, with more than 1,500 tonnes of food waste being collected to date, and helping to boost Belfastâ€™s recycling rate to above 30 per cent for the first time.
Cllr Ian Adamson, chairman of Belfast City Councilâ€™s Health and Environmental Services Committee, said: â€œNow that we have given the majority of our ratepayers the facility to recycle their food waste at home, weâ€™re turning our attention to making everyone think about how much money and food they waste on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis.
â€œThe average household throws out around Â£680 worth of food each year â€“ money that could be better spent, or kept in your pocket. Itâ€™s very easy to buy more than you need, but the aim of this campaign is to get people thinking about what theyâ€™re putting in their trolley.
â€œA bit of simple planning can help you buy only the food you will need and if you do have any leftovers, why not try out a new recipe or freeze meals for another time. There are lots of useful tips and advice on our website, along with some great recipe ideas; just visit www.belfastcity.gov.uk/foodwasteâ€
As well as saving ratepayers money at home, improving how we manage our waste and recycling more will help Belfast City Council avoid landfill costs in accordance with tough new EU legislation; and this in turn will have a knock-on effect for the cityâ€™s ratepayers.
Cllr Adamson added: â€œSince we introduced the food waste collection, the council has made savings of more than Â£47,000 in landfill costs as well as avoiding fines of more than Â£235,000.
â€œThis is a credit to households across Belfast who have been helping to drive up our recycling rate, but there is still room for improvement and we all need to give serious thought to how we manage our waste in the future.â€
For more information on the new council campaign or to find information about recycling at home visit www.belfastcity.gov.uk/recycle