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Gazette Article

Make friends with food and war on waste

The opening of the new Artarmon branch library in November (see November 2012 Gazette, p 8) last year featured a WCC display on its Love Food, Hate Waste campaign.

Council audits had shown food waste accounted for almost 50% of all waste in Willoughby households' rubbish bins – up from 49.48% in 2008 and 49.25% in 2010. and much higher than the NSW average at 38%, though similar to other north shore councils. Hornsby has 49% food waste and Kuring-gai 46%.

Council launched the Love Food, Hate Waste program in late 2010. The percentage of food waste in garbage bins has since dropped to 42.44%. This is possibly because of council's campaign or other factors such as economic pressures, which make us more waste-conscious. The average household throws out $1000 worth of food each year.

To help residents save food and money, council runs a range of Love Food, Hate Waste activities. See

Council will run a workshop on Saturday October 26, at council's coachroom in Victor St, Chatswood – one for the diaries of those who plan ahead. There will be the opportunity to try great recipes for leftovers with local chef Meg Evans.

Council’s top tips to avoid food waste include: plan weekly meals to save time and money; write a shopping list and check the fridge and cupboard before you go; measure serving sizes using the Love Food Hate Waste serving size calculator at: (This site will also take you to a number of videos featuring Master Chef runner-up Callum Hann); store your food correctly – air tight containers help keep food fresher for longer; and use leftovers for an easy weeknight meal (or microwave at work to save money on lunch).

Other activities about waste on the council’s 2013 diary include:

Sat, Feb 23 – sustainability hub, Devonshire St, Chatswood: Kitchen Scraps to Compost. Using a compost bin or worm farm can dramatically reduce waste sent to landfill while producing wonderful garden fertiliser. Learn to set up a new composting system or to trouble-shoot existing systems.

Mon, April 8: Beyond the Rubbish Bin tour of the Eastern Creek advanced resource recovery technology (ARRT) facility. Where council sends 60% of all household waste. Any recyclables are extracted and the organic component converted to compost. This tour will take you to a landfill site, then through the facility to witness the fate of your waste first hand.

Sat, Aug 10 – Warners Park, Northbridge: Keeping backyard chooks workshop. This is a fun way to use up food scraps, fertilise the garden and feast on fresh eggs. The workshop covers different breeds, housing, regulations and pros and cons.

Mon, September 16: Kimbriki tour and eco-gardening workshop. Kimbriki diverts almost 70% of incoming material away All these events are free, but bookings are essential. To secure your spot, phone Tejinder Gill on 9777 7730 or email:

Visit neighbouring councils' websites for more info and activities on food and waste:

Fri, March 22 – Lane Cove Council edible excursions: Autumn harvest tour to explore the abundance of fresh, seasonal produce available on Sydney's doorstep at farms along the Hawkesbury river farm gate trail. The tour costs $15 and covers entry to three farms (bring your own lunch).

Sat, April 20; May 25 – Lane Cove Community Nursery: Compost and worm farming workshops. Be inspired to turn any unavoidable food scraps into great nutrients for the garden.

by Alethea Morison

Courtesy of Gazette February 2013
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