Jenny Lowes looks at holiday recycling and offers money-saving tips on cutting food waste.

This summer my family and I went to a holiday cottage in Devon. It’s always a slight concern what recycling bins and boxes there will be and not knowing where local recycling facilities are if there aren’t any (am I the only one?

But thankfully this cottage was well equipped with boxes and bags and a new addition that us North Yorkshire residents won’t be too familiar with – a food caddy. The caddy took any cooked or uncooked food waste – meat included.

The collected food waste in Devon is sent to an anaerobic digestion plant where it is treated to produce a biogas, which is extracted and used to generate electricity. Once the gas has been removed, a liquid food fertiliser remains which can be used on local farmland.

The government is still considering legislating that every household will receive separate, weekly food waste collections between 2023 and 2030/31, depending on what they currently have set up.

You may not be aware that here in North Yorkshire the food waste in your rubbish bin also goes to anaerobic digestion, like in Devon, but it is extracted from your bins/bags at Allerton Waste Recovery Park.

Jenny recycling food waste
  • A mechanical treatment plant receives general rubbish mainly originating from household bins and removes any remaining metal and plastics for recycling;
  • An anaerobic digestion plant treats the organic waste part and produces a biogas, which generates renewable electricity; and
  • An energy from waste plant burns the waste that remains after separation of the recyclables and treatment of organic waste, producing steam to feed an electricity generating turbine that produces enough electricity to supply about 40,000 homes.
Food recycling caddy

The visitor and education centre is open for individuals, educational and community groups. To book a visit or to arrange a talk off site, go to the Amey online booking calendar.

With food prices on the up, we all want to avoid putting food in any bin – an average family could save around £720 a year by making the food they buy last longer.

My top tips for cutting down food waste

Use your freezer – It’s a great value way to buy the reduced items and BOGOF items, but make sure you put them straight in the freezer for use at a later date (you can freeze up to the use by date).

Check the temperature of your fridge – food will go off quicker if it’s too cold or not cold enough. Check how to find your fridge temperature.

Then there’s unavoidable food waste such as peelings, uncooked fruit and vegetable waste along with tea bags, coffee grounds, egg shells plus garden waste and many other items that can be home composted. We offer discounted compost bins that are available to North Yorkshire residents from just £12 and £15. Find out more about composting.

Home composting is cheap and effective, but will only take uncooked fruit and vegetable waste, mixed with garden waste and you should get your own supply of compost in the end.

For those that want to go one-step further and want to treat themselves, we have negotiated a deal with Great Green Systems with up to 40 per cent off for food digesters. They aren’t cheap, but they can take all food waste including cooked, meat, dairy and fish and some can take garden waste.

And if you are on holiday and need to find recycling facilities, go to Recycle Now and search for what you can recycle locally.