$1 million to love food, hate waste

Communities across Sydney, the Central Coast, Mid-North coast and North coast will take part in a $1 million program to reduce food waste in homes and businesses, in an Australian first.

The NSW Government Love Food Communities grants have been awarded to City of Sydney, Central Coast Council, Midwaste and North East Waste to plan and deliver a two-year whole-of-city approach to food waste prevention.

Environment Minister Matt Kean said it’s unacceptable that around 750,000 tonnes of food is thrown away by households and businesses in NSW each year.

“This fantastic initiative will help us reduce food waste and save families money in the process,” Mr Kean said.

“I want to see less food being wasted across our communities and these grants will support the recipients to do just that by changing behaviour and giving people and businesses the tools they need to make informed decisions.”

As well as households and businesses, each project will target at least one other sector, such as aged care, schools, pubs and clubs and food manufacturers where there is scope to have a huge impact in food waste reduction.

The City of Sydney will work with its Green Building tenants and Sustainable Destination partners - Hilton, Accor Hotels, Hyatt - to achieve at least 20 per cent food waste reduction within their business.

“Food waste in our residents’ red-lid bins makes up approximately 35 per cent of the city’s general waste – waste that’s bad for our wallets and bad for our environment,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“We’re pleased to be working with the State Government to increase awareness about food waste across businesses, apartment dwellers and tertiary education campuses to deliver a clear reduction in waste and create a more sustainable city.”

Hilton Sydney Executive Chef Kruno Velican says he believes that organisations must have professional sensitivity and a comprehensive acceptance as to how global businesses can impact the communities they serve and environment in which they operate.

“Hilton Sydney has completed two rounds of the ‘Your Business is Food’ program and has reduced its food waste by 50 per cent, saving almost $860,000 from 2016 –2018,” Mr Velican said.

“Hilton Sydney has also partnered with Addi Road to deliver the daily surplus breakfast food to the community organisation and its patrons. This not only reduces food waste sent to landfill but also ensures that perfectly good food is enjoyed by people facing food insecurity.”

Participants are required to undertake a food waste survey to understand how much food they are throwing out, implement a succinct program to amend some of their food practices including how to better store food, and reuse leftovers, and then re-measure their food waste at the end of the program.

The Love Food Hate Waste program has awarded almost $1.6 million to 54 grant projects and is an important part of the NSW Government’s commitment to halve food waste by 2030, through the National Food Waste Strategy.

“Together, these four newly funded projects will reach 17,000 households and nearly 500 businesses. This is a huge undertaking and will be the first time we see a whole-of-community approach taken to prevent food waste in NSW,” Mr Kean said.

More information on Love Food Hate Waste, including Food Smart and Your Business is Food programs, is available at www.lovefoodhatewaste.nsw.gov.au