Date posted: 24 February 2021
In West Sussex food waste makes up 40% of the average household general waste bin.
The West Sussex Waste Partnership are working with the food partnerships across the county to encourage our residents to share their surplus food, help those in food poverty and prevent some of this wastage.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 there have been significant changes to food behaviours in the UK, which have been unfortunate for many.
Sustain UK estimates that 8.4 million people in the UK are living in food poverty, with Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME), disabled and older people worst affected.
Pre-lockdown, in 2019/20, a record high of nearly 2 million people in the UK used a food bank, according to the Trussell Trust. The numbers are estimated to have increased hugely due to the pandemic, hence why redistributing food would help residents in West Sussex. Below are some of the services available to you for redistributing food in the county.
Connects communities with each other and local food businesses, so surplus food can be shared and not thrown away. All users need to do is snap a photo of their spare items and add it to the app. People who live nearby can see if anything takes their fancy and, if so, request it.
Everything on OLIO is always offered for free. Food is shared when it is nearing its sell-by date, is spare home-grown vegetables or when residents are going away and will not use it.
OLIO was created to try and prevent food waste and help the global issue of climate change, as food waste is one of the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases. The app has been used in over 50 countries and over 1.6 million items have been shared between neighbours. Find out more on the OLIO website.
These are refrigerators located in a public space which enable food to be shared within a community. Spare food is dropped off here by community members or small businesses, to be rescued and shared amongst those who need it.
The Fare Divide Community Group have set up community fridges in Littlehampton and Horsham, where perishable items are free for collection by community members. They also run outreach pop-up community fridges in East Preston, Angmering and Rustington.
Often community organisations aimed at supporting people who cannot afford the essentials in life. They normally provide people with a food parcel of three days' nutritionally balanced, non-perishable food (The Big Issue).
There are many foodbanks spread across the county which accept donations including:
- tinned tomatoes
- pasta sauce
- tinned meat
- tinned vegetables
- tea or coffee
- tinned fruit
- UHT milk
- fruit juice.
You can also donate by adding additional items to your in-store food shop and leaving these items in the donation trolley located near the exit.
New trial booking system at five Household Waste Recycling Sites
A new booking system trial is planned at five Household Waste Recycling Sites (HWRSs) across West Sussex, to help reduce pressure on sites as lockdown restrictions ease and ensure visitors maintain social distancing.
Residents will be able to select a specific time slot to visit the sites, which should also reduce waiting times and prevent queues on nearby roads.
A recommendation on the trial of a booking system will be made by the Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday 3 March. If approved, it is due to take place from mid-March at the sites in:
- Bognor Regis
The booking system should reduce pressure on HWRSs when lockdown restrictions are lifted. At the moment, residents are asked to only visit the sites for essential reasons, where they are unable to safely store recycling or waste at home. As the restrictions ease, it is anticipated more people will want to use the sites.
Residents have been encouraged to make full use of their kerbside collections run by the district and borough councils. Some of these also allow for small electrical items and textiles to be collected with the regular collections, but the use of HWRSs has continued at close to pre-lockdown levels.
Deborah Urquhart, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “A booking system would allow us to provide a fair and equal service to all residents and also help reduce pressure on HWRSs as lockdown restrictions are lifted.
“It should also have a positive impact on those living or working close to a Household Waste Recycling Site with traffic spread across the day rather than peaking at certain times. This would also help to reduce the environmental impact of vehicles visiting the sites and mean a smoother and quicker visiting experience for residents.
“Similar booking systems have been implemented in other areas and have successfully improved the use of HWRSs for residents, as well as helping to manage the demand on the system. We hope to see if this is the same in West Sussex by running a trial across five of our sites.”
Traffic from the sites can impact on local roads and residents, as well as having a detrimental impact on air quality due to vehicles queuing with engines running. The trial is designed to see how well the system works to reduce these.
Upcoming online events
Due to the current lockdown restrictions we are unable to run in-person events, but there are details below of some online events run by external organisations coming up over the next few weeks for West Sussex residents.
Sussex Green Living virtual Zoom events
Wednesday 24 February, 7.00pm-8.00pm - Struggling to pay your energy bills? Sharing free Government help to insulate your home, free energy saving gadgets, low cost retrofitting ideas and how to change to clean energy (it is usually cheaper).
Saturday 6 March, 2.00pm-3.30pm - Learning from Worthing and Adur Councils on how councils, businesses and communities can work together to reduce their impact on the planet.
Wednesday 10 March, 7.00-8.00pm - Confused by what you can and cannot recycle in your household bins in West Sussex? Want to do more recycling to help the planet? Learn about TerraCycle and what single use plastics Sussex Green Living are helping to recycle through 11 village drop off locations.
Saturday 3 April, 2.00pm-3.30pm - Divest our money from banks and pensions who are profiting through fossil fuel and causing climate change, but where should we invest?
All these events can be booked via Eventbrite.
Friday 5, Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 March - Kinder Spring is a free online sustainability event with advice, information and fun for anyone wishing to make their home, garden or daily life a little more sustainable. We'll have information and activities for those wanting to grow their own, avoid food waste, make their homes more energy efficient, up-cycle furniture plus eco-friendly crafting and much more!
Join in on the Facebook Event page.