"Throwing away uneaten food each year is a drain on family budgets," Natasha Simmons, rubbish and recycling asset engineer said. "It costs money to purchase the food that is uneaten, and additionally costs money to throw the food away, not to mention the unnecessary environmental impact of food waste."
In New Zealand, 122,547 tonnes of food is thrown away annually, enough to feed around 262,917 people, or triple the population of Palmerston North for a year.
Natasha says it is estimated that Kiwis spend $872 million a year on food that then gets thrown away uneaten. The average Kiwi household sends 79kg of uneaten food a year to landfills. In Manawatu-Wanganui, avoidable food waste costs the average household nearly $563 a year, totalling nearly $50 million for the region as a whole.
The top 10 edible foods wasted in New Zealand are: bread, left overs, potatoes, apples, poultry, bananas, lettuces, oranges, pumpkin, and carrots.
"The Love Food, Hate Waste Campaign supports our City's goals towards decreasing waste," Natasha said. "It aims to bring the problem out into the open and provide information to help residents cut the wastage while keeping it out of landfills.
It also highlights the importance of planning food purchases, meals and being smart about food storage," she said. Check facebook.com/lovefoodhatewastenz for information and ideas.