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Harlow members of Young Essex Assembly make Green Pledge

Politics / Tue 19th May 2015 am31 10:27am

THE Young Essex Assembly (YEA) is encouraging schools to do their bit for the environment by signing up to its Green Pledge Award scheme.

The window for applications starts today and coincides with the launch of Essex County Council’s Shrewd About Food campaign, which aims to raise awareness of food waste issues and encourage residents to reduce, re-use and recycle.

Each month the average family throws away about £60 of good food. In addition, almost half of the county’s waste is not currently recycled and food waste makes up the largest proportion of this.

The YEA’s Green Pledge Award scheme looks to tackle the issue in schools, with at least one pledge needing to be food waste-related.

Many of the county’s district, borough and city councils offer food waste collections for schools and pledges could be as simple as schools registering to have their food waste collected and recycled.

Alternatively, they could apply for a free composting bin from Essex County Council and vow to start composting food waste.

The award scheme is open to all Essex schools, including primary, secondary and special schools. The deadline for applications is Friday July 31, 2015 and successful applicants will receive a Green Pledge Award star (as pictured).

Cllr Malcolm Buckley, Essex County Council’s deputy cabinet member for Waste and Recycling, said: “We are working really hard to tackle issues around avoidable food waste, which unfortunately still makes up a significant amount of ‘black bag’ or ‘black bin’ (residual) household waste in Essex.

“The Shrewd About Food campaign is about making residents aware of just how much money they are throwing away every month, with a view to having a positive effect on people’s food waste habits. By reducing the amount of food we needlessly buy, re-using any leftovers and recycling what is left, we can go a long way to achieving a better, greener Essex.

“Education is obviously vital in this process and I am delighted to be working with the Young Essex Assembly on the Green Pledge Award scheme. A number of Essex schools are already leading the way with recycling and I hope others will now follow suit.”

The Shrewd About Food campaign, which will continue throughout the financial year, will include a leftovers competition, social media activity, video releases and more.

To follow the campaign on social media, search for #shrewdaboutfood on Twitter or visit the council’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/essexcountycouncil

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