Reducing food waste can help reduce shopping bills

Donaghcloney man Walter Ferris pictured with his food caddy at the Donaghcloney Community Garden where compost made from food waste is used to grow vegetables.

Recycle Now and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council are launching a new campaign to encourage householders to use all the food they buy and use their brown bins and caddy to recycle anything inedible.

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 rubbish bin is still made up of food, most of which could have been eaten.

According to Recycle Now, a household of four in Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough could save £80 per month (or £1,000 a year) just by using all the food they buy.

Items such as bananas, chicken, bread and potatoes are amongst the most wasted items. As part of the campaign (which runs from February 19 to March 3), ABC Council and Recycle Now, are encouraging people to think about cooking up some quick-fire easy recipes using these most wasted items.

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 together with your garden waste in the same outdoor bin. From there, it gets broken down and processed into compost and soil conditioner.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, Alderman Margaret Tinsley said food waste was an important part of recycling. She said: “We know that the majority of people are really playing their part and I hope that through this campaign we can encourage more people to reduce their food waste and also use their food caddies.”

Craig Stephens, Senior Campaign Manager, Recycle Now, said: “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.”

If you need a caddy, liners or more information on what to put in your food caddy, download the ABC Council App or visit You can also find out more by visiting Recycle Now.