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Food waste: Hertfordshire County Council online survey aims to tackle avoidable waste in people's homes

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Hertfordshire residents are being asked to help tackle avoidable food waste in their own homes.

A study in 2020 found that 24% of the weight in the county's rubbish bins was made up of food and drink that was safe to consume – including packaged items yet to reach their use-by date.

In a bid to understand the problem, the county council has set up an online survey at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/foodwastesurvey. Participants can enter a draw for the chance to win £250 in shopping vouchers.

Sawbridgeworth's Cllr Eric Buckmaster, the county council's executive member for the environment and chair of the Hertfordshire Waste Partnership (HWP), said: "Avoidable food waste has a huge negative impact on our environment, both from the energy it takes to produce and transport the food as well as the greenhouse gases emitted once it enters the waste system.

"We need to do more to tackle this issue in Hertfordshire. By completing this survey, our residents will give us valuable insight into the kind of help and support they might need to reduce the amount of edible food they throw away."

The HWP is a partnership between the county council and Hertfordshire’s ten district and borough councils – including East Herts – working together to reduce, reuse and recycle the county’s waste.

Some 70% of all food thrown away in the UK comes from people’s homes. It is estimated the average family can save around £720 a year by eating all the food in their home and not dumping it in the bin.

As it breaks down, food waste releases methane gas, which is more harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide as it traps heat within the atmosphere.

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