WELLINGTON residents have been told ‘not to feed the bin’ in a new anti-waste campaign by Somerset Council.

It comes as the unitary council teams up with SUEZ, its waste collection contractor, in an effort to cut down on food waste.

As part of ‘food waste action week’, an event which works to raise awareness around the 4.9 million tonnes discarded by UK households each year, Somerset Council will be providing support to food pantry groups across the county to help keep produce from landfill.

As part of the scheme SUEZ will be providing fridge thermometers every food pantry member in Somerset, which will help ensure food is stored at the ideal temperature.

Cllr Dixie Darch, executive lead member for Climate and Environment at Somerset Council, said: “Simple steps can help to prevent food waste, and importantly save money. We want to help families avoid unnecessary food waste, a simple way to start is by checking your fridge is at the correct temperature.

“When stored correctly, fresh food could last up to three days longer, providing opportunity to feed the family – and not the bin.”

Almost a quarter of a million tonnes of food was recycled in Somerset last year - although food waste still made up more than a fifth of general rubbish in black bin bags. This reportedly means eight meals per week thrown in the bin.

When food is recycled in Somerset, the council said it is turned into fertiliser for farms and can help create electricity which then makes its way in to the National Grid.

Lily Morton, SUEZ recycling and recovery, said: “We are really pleased to be able to partner with the Somerset Local Pantry network. We hope that we can encourage their members to think about reducing food waste at home. This not only helps the environment but will also help people save money by stopping still good food going in the bin.

“Producing food and food products requires a huge amount of resources. This is why it’s particularly important to reduce food waste and where you can’t reduce, make use of the kerbside food waste recycling.”