Laying waste to waste

By Anna Wallis

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New World produce manager Luke Archibald, left,  with owner John Kelly and some of the waste from the store that goes to pigs. PHOTO/BEVAN CONLEY
New World produce manager Luke Archibald, left, with owner John Kelly and some of the waste from the store that goes to pigs. PHOTO/BEVAN CONLEY

A campaign to reduce the colossal amount of food we waste is coming to Whanganui.

Love Food Hate Waste is a national initiative to reduce or recycle the 122,547 tonnes of food the country collectively puts in the scrap bin each year.

That's the equivalent of 213 jumbo jets chokka with food, or enough to feed Dunedin for two years. And it's valued at $872 million.

A display about the campaign will be at Sustainable Whanganui/Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre's open day on Saturday.

Spokesperson Sandie Roach said a "travelling event kit" had been secured for the day which explains the Love Food Hate Waste ethos.

But they are also looking for some raw material.

"We now need some yummy food that was headed for landfill but is perfectly tasty and edible to enable us to demonstrate how to Love Food Hate Waste.

"Sustainable Whanganui also need your wonderful ideas for making good use of the food that has bypassed the bin.

"Bring your favourite culinary creation along to share with us on the day" she said.

She said that could be soup made from leftovers or breadcrumbs from croutons.

The group is looking for food retailers to join in as well - supermarkets, cafes, bakeries and restaurants.

New World owner John Kelly said the supermarket is backing the campaign and has several ways of reducing the amount of food that gets chucked away.

"More than 90 per cent of "waste" food gets recycled. Very little is thrown away" he said.

This includes recycling proteins, sending some foodstuffs to the foodbank and trimmings from fruit and vegetables going to a pig farmer.

Whanganui District Council is also on board.

Spokesperson Stuart Hylton said the council had signed up to the campaign looking at opportunities to reduce food waste.

"We are looking at every avenue to do that. And we'd like to know what people are doing now or ideas they may have. The council is happy to talk to them."

The Love Food Hate Waste event runs from 11am to 3pm at the resource recovery centre in Maria Place, Whanganui.

If you want to help, call Sandie Roach, 0220 646 776.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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