Just one month after opening its doors, Worcestershire County Council’s first community fridge is diverting huge amounts of food waste from landfill.
Since the fridge started being open for donations at Upton Baptist Church in Upton-upon-Severn, on the 5th November, it has diverted a massive 605kg of food; food that otherwise would have been thrown away.
The fridge is primarily for residents to bring along unwanted food or gluts of vegetables and anyone can bring along food and take what they need, all for free! Residents have certainly embraced this concept with really positive comments on the fridge’s Facebook page; (www.facebook.com/uptoncommunityfridge) ; such as “yesterday was my first drop off from a sort out – what a great scheme” and “I use the fridge probably 4 out of 7 days. We work, low income comparatively, but manage well. Hate waste. So now we base some meals around what Amy’s fridge provides, which is great”.
As well as reducing food waste, the fridges can help strengthen community bonds and increase local activities.
Emma Stuart, Waste Prevention Project Manager for Worcestershire County Council said; “We are amazed at how quickly this community fridge has taken off and is being used by everyone in Upton. The whole purpose of these fridges is to redistribute food and anybody and everybody is invited to donate and take food. Food waste remains a problem in the UK with £13bn worth thrown away from homes in the UK every year¹ and we hope that this and future community fridges will help reduce the amount of money, currently £5m, that Worcestershire County Council spends on disposing of food waste.”
Rev Amy Wearing, Minister of Upton Baptist Church said: “The fridge has taken off beyond our wildest dreams and we love that there is no shame associated with using it – it is for everyone and everyone uses it. We have queues at 9am when we open and there is literally nothing left at the end of the day! We are so grateful to all those who have helped to fund the fridge and supported us throughout the whole project. We are also grateful for the local businesses, especially the Co-Op who are passing on their unwanted food.”
The Upton community fridge is one of 80 in the country and is the brainchild of environmental charity Hubbub.
For more information about the project and how to open a community fridge, contact Emma Stuart, Waste Prevention Project Manager at email@example.com.
For more information about the Community Fridge Network visit www.hubbub.org.uk/the-community-fridge.