WASTEFUL Rotherham residents are throwing away an astonishing 300 tonnes of perfectly good food every week, according to the team behind a campaign out to save food and money.
More than a quarter of everything going in the grey bin is food which could have been used — amounting to 16,000 tonnes every year across the borough.
The cost per household is around £720 each year — more than enough for a family holiday.
Food waste experts cooked up leftover specials in town this week, parking a mobile kitchen in All Saints’ Square on Tuesday and serving up treats including vegetable fritters and banana cake made from fruit past its prime.
The event was part of a six-week tour under the Love Food Hate Waste drive by national food charity WRAP, with Manvers-based BDR Waste Partnership also on board.
Abi Cox, BDR community education officer, said: “We know that most people don’t like waste and throwing food in the bin.
“We hope this campaign will help us all rethink how we shop, plan our meals and use up leftovers.
“There will always be some food waste that is inevitable, and this should be composted or wrapped before being disposed of in bins.
“Together we can make a big difference.”
Cookery demonstrator Clover Hutson, who has whipped up tempting treats with Love Food Hate Waste for ten years, said: “You always tend to end up with little bits and bobs in the salad drawer.
“The fritters are the perfect way to use them.
“They’re brilliant if you’ve got friends coming over, or just as a snack with a bit of yoghurt.
“You just grate everything, throw in an egg, some peas and add some spice for flavour — curry powder, cayenne pepper or anything you’ve got in the cupboard.”
She added: “People often throw away spices when they’re past their best before, but they don’t go off because they’re dried.
“Whatever you’ve got kicking about, there’s always something nice you can do with it.
“You’ve just got to give it a bit of thought and realise that you’re saving a lot of money, as well as the environment.
“Cooking with leftovers doesn’t mean you’re digging things out of the bin — it just means not throwing away half a carrot, but seeing what else you can do with it.”
Analysis of grey bin waste showed that 28 per cent of all waste was avoidable — like fresh food left to go off — or potentially avoidable, like bread crusts.
The weight of this waste was over 16,000 tonnes of food — or 3kg per household per week.