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Households challenged over food waste

Posted on March 8, 2022 by Maple Creek

Maple Creek residents have been challenged: Check how much food you waste in a week.
The challenge was laid down by Town Councillor Len Barkman while talking about waste reduction, recycling, and the need to preserve the municipality’s landfill. Barkman said he had self-monitored and discovered that he could easily fill an ice-cream pail with food waste in one day.
The sight of a full pail had forced him to change his habits, making him less wasteful, he said.
“I want to see that we do our best in preserving our landfill,” he said. “There is so much food that we waste.”
Councillor Tina Cresswell said repurposing old buildings, instead of demolishing them, was one way of protecting landfills.
“If you use an old building over, if you make it good for a new use, it doesn’t go into the landfill, and that’s something we also have to be mindful of when we talk about waste management and waste reduction,” she said. “There are people in this world who think that buildings should be torn down and replaced every 30 years. I would like to know what their landfills look like because when you tear down a building, you have to get rid of it and it fills a landfill very quickly.”
The subject of waste reduction came up during the February 28 meeting of Town Council.
Councillor Barkman said he was looking forward to attending a waste reduction conference in Regina in April.
He praised Maple Creek residents for recycling, saying he noticed how bins were full.
An area of concern, however, was the amount of food waste ending up in the landfill.
Councillor Barkman reckoned an average household probably wastes 150 to 200 pounds of food a year.
Multiply that amount by the number of the households in the community, the result is “quite a pile of food”, he said.
Councillor Barkman mentioned two women from Eastern Canada who had invented a home dehydrator, which went on the market about four years ago.
“You can put up to between five and 10 pounds of food waste in this dehydrator and in a period of three to eight hours it takes care of that waste and at the end of it there is a little pile that you can put into your flower beds; you can put it into your garden and it becomes fertilizer.”
The dehydrators were ingenious, said Councillor Barkman, although they were not cheap.
After throwing down his food waste challenge, Councillor Barkman underlined the importance of safeguarding the landfill.
“I want to see what more we can do to keep things out of our landfill. We want our landfill to last as long as it can. We want to be able to keep using that and need to be doing our part.”
He applauded people for their recycling efforts, adding: “We can always do better.”

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