Food waste in Blackburn with Darwen is eating council tax money away as it costs more than £750,000 to dispose.

The council audit also revealed approximately 11,000 tonnes of food is thrown away every year.

Of that amount, 5,700 tonnes is edible food in the bin each year, which is equivalent to around 3.2 million chickens or 11.4 million loaves of bread.

The average household in Blackburn with Darwen could save a substantial £720 annually by avoiding food waste, which is an extra £60 a month.

Lynne Goodacre, coordinator at Blackburn with Darwen Food Alliance spoke at Blackburn Foodbank’s curry night on October 19 about the detrimental impact of food waste and how residents can be more resourceful.

Lynne said: “The council actually found 44 per cent of waste if food of which half (22 per cent) is edible and the amount that it costs the council to deal with food waste is a lot.

“And food going into landfill from Blackburn with Darwen creates greenhouse gas emissions, harming the climate. This could all be prevented by saving the food from our bins.”

Blackburn with Darwen food waste contributes to the wider global food issue as 36 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions is produced in the UK alone.

Putting this into perspective, if food waste was a country, it would have the third largest carbon footprint in the world behind only the USA and China.

BwD Food Alliance, launched in 2018, works within the community to help residents have access to good food which is produced sustainably and reduce food waste in the borough.

To help combat the food waste issue, the council provided useful tips to reduce waste.

Planning meals, checking your kitchen for existing items, and using leftovers can all contribute to a reduction in food waste, as well as monitoring best-before dates and use-by dates.

Councillor Jim Smith, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Executive Member for Environment, said: “Despite the economic downturn, as a borough, we are sadly still producing too much food waste and, whilst food waste fell during the pandemic, it has increased again.

“In each of the last three borough-wide waste leaflets, we have advertised the issues around food waste reduction and have actively worked with the Blackburn Food Alliance at events in the Mall, and this group have been a great support in getting the message about food waste out there.

“We continue to engage with school classes and neighbourhood groups, advising on food waste reduction.

“In addition to saving people money during the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, ensuring you use up all of the food you buy and let none of it go to waste is an important way for people to reduce their carbon footprint and help tackle climate change by saving on greenhouse gas emissions. For further information go to".