Zero Waste Cashel Food Waste Pilot
Food Waste Caddies
A Waste Characterisation Study carried out in the town of Cashel last year found that over 22% of the weight of general waste bins in Cashel was food waste. This is not surprising considering we waste over one third of food in Ireland annually, that's almost 1 million tonnes of food ending up in landfill or the incinerator.
In response to this, Zero Waste Cashel have set out to trial Kitchen Caddies with over 100 households encouraging them to segregate food from other waste.
Derry O'Donnell, Zero Waste Cashel project manager, has been doing a great job at engaging locals about food waste through various means since the project began in March last year. Some of these efforts include running a cooking demo with Cashel Playground Development Group for over 400 people, inviting Mike Holden of StopFoodWaste.ie to talk on the issue as well as many other informal discussed at community gatherings and holding a Stop Food Waste and Compost training programme for members of Cashel Tidy Towns, Men's Shed, Women's Group and staff of Spafield Family Resource Centre.
The food waste collected from the brown bin is taken to an industrial composter to be made into compost, a nutrient rich fertiliser which is used as organic feed for plants and crops. Creating awareness around composting and food waste has been instrumental in setting up the kitchen caddie trial, when people realise that food waste can actually be recycled and turned into something useful, they are keen to get on board.
People have also been interested to learn about the harmful implications of wasting food. When food is disposed of in the general waste bin, it will end up in landfill and there it releases methane, a harmful greenhouse gas which contributes to climate change. By using the brown bin, households are reducing their impact on climate change. Even these small adjustments are having a positive impact and can be quite empowering.
If this trial proves successful, there is no doubt it could be replicated on to other areas both locally and nationwide.
Pictured: Residents of Spafield Crescent receiving their kitchen caddies; L-R Mary Peters, Mary Myers and Cllr Martin Browne.