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Serious success for fun food waste recycling drive

| District

Somerset’s fun new food waste recycling campaign is already driving up recycling rates and prompting a jump in demand for food waste bins.

Although Slim My Waste, Feed My Face has only reached half the county, food waste recycling in campaign areas has soared by around 30%. And families have demanded 8,500 free new food waste containers to start or restart food recycling, promising even better results.

A Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) spokesman said: “These are fantastic early results, proving the serious value of this fun campaign in getting residents to recycle all they can, turning so-called waste into a valuable resource that can light the darkness and put meals on the table.

“We knew from Bristol Waste Company’s development of this campaign that it would more than pay its way, but these results have exceeded our expectations – in terms of overall environmental benefit and financially.”

Slim My Waste, Feed My Face is delivering colourful bin reminders and dramatic make-a-face stickers to all 260,000 homes in Somerset to encourage everyone to recycle all their food waste.

Rubbish bins get a friendly “no food waste” notice and a recyclable yellow tape around their waste. And fun stickers delivered to each home mean every resident can decorate their food waste bin with a new face, demonstrating householders’ commitment to food recycling and encouraging others to do the right thing.

The food waste “ace faces” can be shared on social media with the hashtag #FeedmyfaceSWP to spread the word and have the chance of winning free eco-goodies, with the first winners about to be announced.

All food waste in Somerset is immediately transformed by an anaerobic digestion plant near Bridgwater into power for homes and a compost for local farmers to grow more food. All food waste – raw, cooked, fresh or “off”, meat, fish, fruit or veg, pasta, cereal, bread and all plate scrapings – can be recycled every week, wrapped in newspaper or compostable bags.

The SWP spokesman said: “Recycling food waste is far cheaper, more productive and less polluting than burying it in landfill to generate greenhouse gases. By nudging people to do the right thing, the campaign will swiftly make back all its costs, and generate further saving for other vital local services.

“The stickers and tape have drawn plenty of attention and raised some eyebrows, but they certainly seem to have got people thinking and recycling more. The carbon saving from the food waste we’re collecting will far outweigh the environmental impact of the tape and stickers.”

To play their part in Slim My Waste, Feed My Face, anyone lacking a food bin or kitchen caddy can order one online free using the pull-down My Waste Services menu at somersetwaste.gov.uk.

In a further success that will help many more residents recycle, the campaign looks set to win support from a big high street retailer, which will distribute kitchen caddies and food waste bins.

To find out more about Slim My Waste, Feed My Face, visit somersetwaste.gov.uk/slimmywaste

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