NEW data show’s Northern Ireland households are throwing out food they could eat.

A new campaign launching today in Northern Ireland is encouraging all householders to eat the food they buy and recycle any inedible by utilising their food waste caddies.

The campaign, spearheaded by Recycle Now in partnership with DAERA, wants to make people aware of the huge benefits of  not wasting food and recycling the inedible parts by using these bins, instead of putting food waste into their general rubbish bins. 30% of the average Northern Irish rubbish bin is still made up of food, most of which could have been eaten.

Craig Stephens, Campaigns Manager, Recycle Now, says: “We want this campaign to encourage everyone in Northern Ireland to think twice about where they are getting rid of their food waste and to use their food caddy rather than the general rubbish bin. The resources that go into producing our food – the water, the transportation, and the energy to chill foods at every step of the supply chain from farm to fork – are also wasted when we throw food away. Needlessly putting food in the bin impacts both our pockets and planet. By recycling our food waste, we can save money while creating compost and green energy instead.”

New data, collated by climate action NGO WRAP, the organisation behind Recycle Now, shows that over 23% of the waste collected from the general rubbish bin was edible food waste.  This means that householders are throwing away food they could have eaten. A household of four could save up to £80 per month or £1,000 a year by using up all the food they buy.

By making a few simple changes the campaign encourages people to turn everything they buy into something tasty, to be eaten straightaway or frozen for another day. These simple changes not only help the environment but can also help save money. Love Food Hate Waste has plenty of inspiration for making the most of the food you buy.

For inedible items like tea bags, vegetable stalks, banana peels, onion skins, eggshells, chicken bones and coffee grounds people need to make their caddy the go-to bin.

Rachael Hook, Head of Resources & Waste Strategy, DAERA, “We are keen to see food waste prevented or reduced as much as possible. Not only will households save money by throwing away less food, but it also helps our environment. Food that isn’t eaten or recycled often ends up in landfill where it can emit harmful greenhouse gases for many decades, contributing to climate change”.

Most food waste in Northern Ireland is collected with garden waste in the same outdoor bin. From there, it gets broken down and processed into compost, soil conditioner and fertilisers for agriculture. These specialist recycling processes results in substantial carbon capture, resulting in a significant reduction in GHG emissions. Peat-free composts and soil conditioners reduce the requirement for synthetic fertilisers; improve growing yields; increase water retention; and address issues of soil compaction. In some councils, your food waste goes to an anaerobic digestion plant to create energy to help power your home.


Recycling doesn’t have to be confusing. To find out more visit NI Recycles website.

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