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‘We need your help to make sure food waste doesn’t end up in refuse bins’

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West Norfolk residents have been urged to make use of the weekly food waste collections as the borough council supports a national action week.It comes as free food caddies are being handed out to residents in the borough as West Norfolk Council shows its support for the fourth national Food Waste Action Week, which begins today.Thousands of tonnes of food waste are recycled in West Norfolk every year, but officials believe there is still a lot more that is not making it into the correct bins.To help more people start using their weekly collections, caddies and bags will be distributed at Docking Market as well as a couple of schools in the area.Cllr Sandra Squire, cabinet member for environment and coastal, said: “Collecting food waste in caddies is the most environmentally friendly thing you can do with food waste other than reducing the amount of it in the first place.“I urge residents to make use of the weekly collections that happen with their waste or recycling collection.

Barry Brandford, waste and recycling manager, and Cllr Sandra Squire, cabinet member for environment and coastal at West Norfolk Council. Picture: West Norfolk Council

“The average household creates between 2 and 3kg of food waste every week. Across West Norfolk, in a year, it would be about 10,000 tonnes and I believe that we could recycle around 5,000 tonnes of that.”Staff were on Lynn’s Broad Street on Tuesday, March 12 and at the market in Downham on Friday, March 15 giving away free caddies and liners so residents could start their food waste collections in time for the action week.Cllr Squire added: “Using your kitchen caddy and putting your large grey food waste caddy out for collection with your waste or recycling collection each week reduces CO2, can create electricity to power our homes and creates nutrient-rich biofertiliser used by farmers to grow crops.”Barry Brandford, waste and recycling manager at the borough council, said: “We recycle 1,800 tonnes of food waste in West Norfolk but pre-Covid we were recycling over 3,000 tonnes each year.

Food waste after being unloaded by collection teams in West Norfolk. Picture: West Norfolk Council

“We need your help to make sure that food waste doesn’t end up in the refuse bin.“If you’ve lost or misplaced your kitchen caddy or large grey outdoor food waste caddy please ask for a free replacement at west-norfolk.gov.uk/yourbins.”Staff from the borough council will be at Docking Market this week on Wednesday between 9am and 1pm.

Food waste collections in West Norfolk. Picture: West Norfolk Council

Cllr Squire said “The market at Docking selling fresh local produce fits perfectly the national theme of choose what you’ll use.“Local markets across the borough are the ideal place for fresh fruit and vegetables and the food caddy is the perfect place for the vegetable peelings.”The waste and recycling team will be offering all councillors the opportunity to lead by example and collect a free caddy and liner before full council on Thursday, March 21.“It’s not too late to start your food waste journey and we want to encourage young and old to take part, which is why our walking, talking, food waste caddy will be visiting Nelson Academy in Downham and South Wootton Primary School in Lynn this week,” Mr Brandford added.“As well as talking to students about how food waste can be turned into green electricity and biofertiliser, we will give their parents the chance to pick up a free caddy if they’ve misplaced theirs.”The borough council will also share food waste advice across its social media channels across the week, such as:“Residents can line their kitchen food waste caddies with old plastic carrier bags, bread bags, fruit and veg bags and other freezer/sandwich bags, or use these to put food waste in. This will keep their caddy and outside bin clean and hygienic – and also provide an additional use for single-use plastic bags. Alternatively, caddies can be lined with newspaper.”

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