Discarded food costs average household up to €1,000 a year

ALMOST one third of the food that people buy ends up in the bin, costing the average household up to €1,000 a year.

This is one of the facts that will be highlighted when Enterprise, Trade and Innovation Minister Batt O’Keeffe officially opens Co Cork’s first master composter demonstration at Quartertown Industrial Estate in Mallow on September 18.

All are invited to attend the 2pm opening after which there will be a certificate presentation ceremony for 31 master composter volunteers who are now available to present talks and host information stands at events around Co Cork.

The master composter initiative is part of the Environment Protection Agency’s national food waste prevention and home composting programme.

Master composters are individuals who have committed some of their time to promoting food waste prevention and composting in their local communities.

The national pilot of the voluntary initiative was held in Frenchpark, Co. Roscommon, last October, where 30 members from local communities became Ireland’s first master composters.

In Mallow, the programme has been supported by both Cork County Council and the Stop Food Waste (SFW) initiative.

The SFW website notes that wasted food costs each Irish household €700 a year on average but it can be over €1,000 for some households.

Master composters will be available at the Mallow event, providing short presentations on various aspects of the initiative.

These include leaf mould, worm bins, turning systems, compost bins, how to use compost and mulch in the garden, as well as giving valuable techniques to reduce food waste in the home.

Tim Casey, an allotment holder at the site, will give instructions on how to grow your own potatoes, while Finbarr Sheehan will provide information on how to start an allotment project.

Guest speakers will include Alan Pitcher, a bee keeper from the Secret Garden in Newmarket, who will provide information on planting a bee friendly garden and bee keeping, and gardening expert Charlie Wilkins.

Further information on the programme is available from Margaret Desmond at 086 380 5442 and on www.stopfoodwaste.ie


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