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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

A household in Mid and East Antrim could save £1,000 a year by using all the food they buy

Fruit and veg market stalls

Recycle Now and Mid and East Antrim Borough Council are launching a new campaign to encourage homes in Mid and East Antrim to use all the food they buy and recycle anything inedible like eggshells, banana skins and tea bags.

In Northern Ireland 80% of people recycle their food waste, which is great, but there is room for improvement. Latest estimates show that a third (30%) of the average Northern Irish rubbish bin is still made up of food, most of which could have been eaten (23%).

One in four households in Mid and East Antrim could save £80 per month or £1,000 a year just by using all the food they buy! The best thing to do with your food is eat it. Items such as bananas, chicken, bread, and potatoes are amongst the most wasted items.

By throwing these away we are not only wasting money we are also damaging the planet. Think about cooking up some quick-fire easy recipes using these most wasted items. How about making a banana smoothie or a chicken fajita? There’s lots more inspiration for making the most of the food you buy over at Love Food Hate Waste.

For inedible items, make your food waste caddy your go-to bin. Even small amounts, like vegetable stalks, banana peels, onion skins, eggshells, chicken bones and coffee grounds, can be recycled.

Most food waste in Northern Ireland is collected with your garden waste in the same outdoor bin. From there, it gets broken down and processed into compost and soil conditioner. In some councils, your food waste goes to an anaerobic digestion plant to create energy to help power your home.

Craig Stephens, Senior Campaign Manager, Recycle Now, says:

“The importance of this campaign is getting as many people as possible within Mid and East Antrim to first use the food they buy and then utilise their food caddy and stop putting food waste in the general rubbish bin.

"The resources that go into producing our food - the water; the transportation and the energy to chill foods from farm to factory and into our kitchens are also wasted when we throw food away. We need to raise awareness of the cost to households and the environment of needlessly putting food in the rubbish bin. By using all the food, we buy and recycling the inedible parts, you can save money and create compost and green energy instead”.

Top tips for recycling food waste in Mid and East Antrim:

1. Make sure you recycle these items: vegetable stalks, fruit peels, onion skins, eggshells, bones, tea bags and coffee grounds.

2. The best way to keep your caddy fresh is to use a compostable liner and empty it regularly. Half of regular food waste recyclers empty their caddies every or most days. Most food waste recyclers in NI use a liner (89%).

3. If you need a caddy, liners or more information on what to put in your caddy visit our webpage here:

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna, said:

“Our Council are proud to join in this regional food waste recycling campaign, emphasising the importance of reducing and disposing of food waste appropriately.

"With up to one third of our black bins still containing food waste, we all really need to take action to reduce this.

"We are constantly looking for new ways to raise environmental awareness with our residents and this campaign will aim to encourage this important recycling behaviour.”

For more information on brown bins, kitchen caddy’s and composting visit our webpage here:

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


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