Love Food, Hate Waste

Food waste is a major issue. Every year UK households throw away 6.6 million tonnes of food and drink. This would fill approximately 66,000 three-bed terraced houses every year, larger than the population of Dacorum. Some is inedible - such as peelings, cores and bones - but the majority is, or once was, perfectly good food. Little by little, all this waste adds up. Wasting this food costs the average household £470 a year, rising to £700 for a family with children, the equivalent of almost £60 a month!

As well as the cost saving to residents, reducing food waste is key to tackling climate change. When we waste food, we also waste all the energy and water it takes to grow, harvest, transport, and package that food. Plus, if food goes to landfill and rots, it produces methane - a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming.

Love Food, Hate Waste Challenge

We regularly run Love Food, Hate Waste challenges to help Dacorum residents cut down on food waste. Email to register your interest for the next challenge.

Take part in the challenge for the whole month, and complete the before and after surveys, to be entered into a prize draw to win a food-saving prize.

How the challenge works

  • Completing a food waste diary: we will email you a diary to fill out throughout the challenge so that you can log the food you are throwing away and see the results for yourself
  • Food waste reduction tips and advice: official Love Food, Hate Waste guidance will be emailed to you in bite-size chunks throughout the duration of the challenge to help you along the way
  • Prize draw: every participant will have the chance to win a prize to help them reduce their food waste
  • Short 'before' and 'after' surveys: so that we can see how the challenge helped you.

Once you've completed the challenge you will be a fully fledged Food Saviour and have all the knowledge you need to stop unnecessary food waste, save money and help the environment.

Previous results

Winner of Love Food, Hate Waste Challenge prize draw holds her food blender

In November 2022 we rolled out our Love Food, Hate Waste challenge for the seventh consecutive year.

  • More than 100 residents participated from 50 households
  • 90 per cent of participants stated that their food waste reduced throughout the challenge
  • The food waste diaries showed that the participants' food waste reduced by an average of 40 per cent between the start and end of the challenge
  • One participant, by simply making soup from vegetable peelings, created at least 12 lunches and saved more than £30 for the month in the process, with the challenge accounting for around a £50 drop in her food costs overall
  • By taking part in the challenge, Aleksandra (pictured) won a food blender to help her further lower the amount of food wasted from her household. 

Community Fridges in Dacorum

Community Fridges are communal spaces where perishable food can be shared rather than wasted. We have two Community Fridges in Dacorum where food is given out free of charge every week. See below for more details.

The food is sourced from a range of shops around Berkhamsted and Hemel Hempstead that can no longer be sold, but is still good to eat.

Open Door Community Fridge
When: 10am to Midday, every Tuesday
Where: Outside the front of Open Door, 360-364 High Street, Berkhamsted, HP4 1HU

Highfield Community Centre
When: 11am to Midday, every Wednesday and Saturday
Where: Highfield Community Centre, Fletcher Way, Hemel Hempstead HP2 5SB

Your food waste tips

You shared your favourite tips with us about how to cut down on food waste and save money:

Food waste tips from around the borough
Name Food waste tip
Mel Don’t throw away broccoli stalks. Slice them up and fry, then add to your meal - delicious with salt and pepper or ginger.
Mel Don't peel potatoes when you make mash. It saves waste and so much time. Just add extra milk when it comes to the mashing stage.
Zoe Plan meals before shopping and write a list so you only buy what you need. Batch cooking saves time, too.
Lin Check the fridge frequently in case something has been pushed to the back. Label and freeze small quantities of leftovers, and if a pack of fresh food has more portions than required, label and freeze the excess.
Kate Don’t go food shopping when you're hungry! You will buy more than you need.
Sofia Check your fridge is below five degrees centigrade. Also, freeze anything you think you won't eat before the use-by date, such as bread.
Jay If you cook too much of something, such as rice, save it for the next night and use any leftover veggies in the fridge. It makes an amazing fried rice dish.
Leon Coffee grounds make great fertiliser, so instead of throwing them away use them to keep your plants looking lush.
Gwyn Make a list and plan your meals. Get creative in the kitchen, think outside the box and combine leftovers for a spontaneous meal. For fruit and veg - if it’s going a bit funny then juice it.

Making food waste history

You could save over £60 a month by following four simple steps:

  • Plan ahead
  • Store correctly
  • Cook what you need
  • Recycle what you can't eat.

Watch WasteAware's video below to find out more about how to save money by wasting less food.

Why does our food go to waste in the first place?

  • Cooking and preparing too much
  • Not using up food in time
  • Not eating food before its use-by date.

What foods are we most likely to waste?

The top five include:

  • fresh fruit
  • meat and fish
  • bread and bakery products
  • dairy produce
  • rice and pasta

How can we prevent food waste and save money?

  • Pre-plan meals to avoid unnecessary buying
  • Always write a shopping list
  • Perfect portions - only cook what you need 
  • Store and freeze leftovers
  • Use up leftovers

Love Food Hate Waste is a national campaign providing handy tips, advice and recipes for leftovers to help everyone waste less food. Visit the Love Food Hate Waste website for more information.