There are various easy methods published online on how to reduce food waste in households. One such a method is to reduce potential waste of food before it ends up in kitchen bins or at the Garden Route District Municipality’s regional or at local municipal landfill sites.
Where to from here?
When planning to purchase food, create a list of what is needed before purchasing any items. This will ensure that what is bought is absolutely necessary. Avoid clutter in your fridge, pantry or freezer by moving older products to the front as a reminder to consume them first. When preparing a meal, there are usually some leftovers – incorporate these into your daily/weekly routine by taking some to work. Remember to store these and other foodstuffs at the correct temperatures to ensure that it lasts as long as possible. Proposing waste minimisation actions at work can also be a step towards changing the habits of those around you. It is also a great gesture to donate food to food banks. Food scraps or spoilt food can be donated to pig farms. Altogether, fruits and vegetables can be used for composting purposes.
A community who changed their habits
According to one of GRDM’s Bitou-based Municipal Health Officials, Ms Maxwelline Fatuse, there is an informal settlement named Bossiesgif in Bitou, who manages their food waste in a different, but clever way. This community made a collective and positive routine-change to their daily habits. They use re-usable 10- litre waste bins or paint bins, hang it outside to fencing poles, which are then filled with food scraps from their kitchens. The waste bins are picked up twice a week and used to feed six pigs farms situated near the community.
A community member of Bossiesgif, Mr Mqalo said: “Our community initiative has been conscious of waste minimisation for years and this community drive helps us to reduce the municipal bins from filling up too quickly. It also helps feed the pigs of farmers and in turn, reduces the waste that would usually be dumped at landfill sites.”
Mr Mqalu explained that community members know to only discard food scraps like vegetable and potato peels, cabbage, (organic waste) etc. in the bins.
“There has not been a single report of pigs getting sick due to this approach of discarding household scrap food,” Mr Mqalu confirmed.
Surrounding areas that include New Horizon, Kwanokutula, Pinetrees and Xolweni, have also adopted this method of discarding food waste. This method, over time, shifts a mountain of waste into feed for pigs. This initiative proves that when communities work collectively to change societal habits for the better, it can move mountains – in this case, mountains of waste.
One might assume that vegetable or fruit scraps can only be used for composting, but there are more ways to “kill a fly”.
Writer’s note: Food waste is a worldwide epidemic; one-third of food on a global scale is either wasted or spoiled food. Food waste lying at dumpsites also result in methane gas build-up, which has been reported by the Canadian Broadcast Corporation as “25 times more damaging than carbon dioxide.” In the not too distant future, this will result in an additional increase in the effects of climate change.
Caption: A bin used for the collection of kitchen scraps for the feeding of pigs in Bossiesgif, Bitou.