Friday, 13 November 2009

Avoid wasting food at Christmas

Swansea residents are being urged to waste less food this Christmas and save money at the same time.

Waste Awareness Wales has teamed up with Swansea Council to spread the festive message that forward planning and following simple guidelines will help families cut costs and reduce the amount of waste food which gets thrown out.

Over the Christmas period, around 230,000 tonnes of turkey, mince pies and other food gets thrown away in the UK, with a cost of approximately £275m.

Trish Flint, Swansea Council's Recycling Officer, said: "At Christmas, we often have to cater for more people than usual and buy lots of goodies for the house to treat ourselves through the festive holiday.

"A lot of this food ends up getting thrown out. This can be a waste of money and also takes up valuable space in landfill.

"Following simple rules like making a shopping list and sticking to it can help avoid temptation at the supermarket.

"Wasting food already costs the average household £420 a year. If you have to throw out leftover food then try and use the kitchen waste recycling service which helps to divert food from landfill."

Here are some top tips to help reduce festive food waste:
  • Make the most of your Christmas leftovers; not only is leftover turkey great for making sandwiches, salad and pies, but leftover vegetables can be used in soups or curries. There are many recipe available online- visit for lots of recipe ideas for leftovers.
  • Plan ahead and make a shopping list. It will help you only buy what you need and will help you not to forget everything.
  • Buy Christmas vegetables loose rather than pre-packaged so you don't end up with too much.
  • If you're struggling to work out portions, try the portion calculator online which removes the guesswork from your planning. It's available at
  • Leftover cheese can either be frozen or used for cheese sauces in meals for the following week.
  • Keep fruit, vegetables and nuts in the salad drawer of the fridge to make them last longer.
  • Fruit and vegetable peelings can be composted or put out for the weekly food waste collection service.
  • When doing your Christmas food shopping, remember to take your reusable cloth bags, bags for life or reuse carrier bags you already have.
  • For a sweet treat, create your very own ice-cream using leftover Christmas pudding.
  • Our most perishable and often most expensive Christmas food is kept in the fridge, so keep tabs on their use-by dates. The freezer may be an option for food you won't get round to eating in time and this will allow you to enjoy the food well after Christmas is over.
Christmas will affect your local Council's kerbside recycling collection dates. Telephone 01792 635600 to find your nearest recycling centre or to learn more.


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