Preparing for the Christmas Food Waste
Now that the waste generated by Halloween has been cleared away, we should start planning for Christmas, a festival which results in even more food waste. In the UK it is estimated that nearly 10 per cent of every festive meal is wasted. This is valued at about £64million. About a third of diners admit to wasting some of their Christmas dinner.
We waste the equivalent to 263,000 turkeys, 17.2 million Brussels sprouts. 11.9 million carrots, 11.3 million roast potatoes, 6 million pigs in blankets and 740,000 slices of Christmas pudding not forgetting 7.4 million mince pies. The festival is completed by discarding 250 tonnes of Christmas Trees in January but we will look at this in a later blog.
Plan now for Christmas food waste composting
The key message to reduce Christmas food waste is by buying only what is needed and cooking leftovers. As always, the key message is Reduce, Reuse and Recycle but as a composting website our message is home compost your waste where possible. This covers all “unavoidable” food waste including cooked food.
Now is the time to plan to extend the range of food waste that can compost at home by adding a food compost bin to our Christmas list or by buying one as a December treat. Depending on your needs and resources one of the following three bins can take your cooked food waste including bones plus garden waste.
I have used a Green Johanna, both at home and on our Demonstration sites, for eight or nine years. All Christmas food waste can be composted as well as garden waste. A winter jacket can be purchased separately to keep it working when the average outdoor temperature drops below 5°C but I tend to wrap mine in several layers of bubble wrap. Price approx £120
I had two Hotbins in use at the Demonstration sites using them mainly to compost waste food from the cafe. They are well insulated so ideal for winter use and it is relatively easy to maintain a compost temperature of 40-55C provided they are fed regularly. I use woodchip as the main bulking agent but also add shredded paper to help absorb the moisture. Approx price £185
The Joraform compost tumblers are the expensive but are excellent for food composting being quick and easy of use. I used mine to compost waste food from the Demonstration site cafe. They have a rust proof galvanized steel construction insulated with polyethylene. Wood pellets or wood shavings are recommended as a bulking agent, but I use wood chip which is available for free locally. I have used one of these bins for about seven years. Being a tombola drum shaped tumbler system, they are easy to aerate. Approx. price £349
More information on Christmas composting is on the website and will follow on this Blog during December