Avoiding food waste


Our household waste recycling sites (‘tips’) have begun reopening to the public. However, with social distancing still necessary, the service is restricted and we encourage you to only travel to a site if absolutely necessary. Only cars are currently permitted; there are revised opening hours at some sites; and there may be lengthy queues. See Coronavirus – rubbish and recycling in East Sussex.

If you are self-isolating with possible coronavirus illness, find out how to dispose of used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths safely.

Love Food Hate Waste logo
Love Food Hate Waste logo

An estimated £470 worth of food is thrown away each year per household in the UK rising to £700 for a family with children, the equivalent of around £60 a month. The two main reasons why we throw away good food is we either cook or prepare too much, or we don’t use it in time.

The food we throw away wastes the huge amount of energy, water and packaging used in its production, transportation and storage. Cutting down food waste could save the same amount of carbon dioxide as taking 1 in 5 cars off the road.

Some food waste ends up in landfill sites where it rots and releases methane, a damaging greenhouse gas contributing to climate change.

Food waste
Food waste

What can I do?

  • Plan meals and stick to a shopping list. Don’t shop when you are hungry as you may buy food that won’t get eaten.
  • Check the ‘use by’ date of products to make sure they will last until needed (as food beyond the ‘use by’ date should not be eaten/unsafe).
  • Foods with a ‘best before’ date should still be safe to eat after the ‘best before’ date (but they may no longer be at their best).
  • Don’t buy bulk offers unless you are sure you are going to eat them.
  • Check freezer contents before going shopping. Food is often forgotten at the back and ends up being thrown away.
  • Set your fridge between 1°C and 5°C and store food in resealable containers to make it last longer.
  • Measure out food like pasta, rice and potatoes so you don’t cook too much.
  • Freeze left over home cooked food to use at a later date.
  • Turn your leftover food into other dishes such as soups, pies, casseroles, and stir fries, or the following days packed lunches.

What about unavoidable food waste?

Some food waste such as peelings, cores and bones can’t be avoided. However, these can be safely composted at home.

We provide a range of great value compost bins and food waste digesters to help get you started. See our page about Composting.

Residents in Lewes District can take part in the weekly food waste collection service. See the Lewes District Council website.

Did you know food waste makes up one fifth of the average dustbin?

Further information

For further shopping, storage and portion tips, as well as leftover recipe ideas, see the Love Food Hate Waste website.