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A week of waste reduction actions – do your bit for European Week for Waste Reduction

November 16 2015
North London Waste Authority are inviting you to take part in over 50 fun, resourceful and quite frankly wacky waste reduction actions and events next week, through their Wise Up To Waste campaign. This campaign encourages residents to do their bit for European Week for Waste Reduction.

The European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) was launched in 2009, supported by LIFE+ Programme (the EU’s funding instrument for environment and climate action) is an initiative to promote awareness-raising actions about sustainable resource and waste management, during a single week. 

It’s the sixth year that NLWA has supported this initiative, which runs from 21 – 29 November and NLWA is pulling out all the stops for it, from ‘living libraries with human books’ and cookery classes, to community ‘Give and Take’ days and an initiative which offer parents £70 worth of real nappies for free.

Waste management trends in Europe are improving slowly and huge discrepancies in performance remain. In particular, while landfilling has decreased from 68% in 1995 to 38% in 2008 in Europe, the target to reduce waste sent to landfills by 50% has not been reached. Sorting waste is not yet integrated in everyone’s everyday behaviour and making people fully appreciate the benefits of recycling and reuse remains a great challenge.

Cllr Clyde Loakes, Chair of NLWA says:

“We want people to think about how they can reduce waste every week, but if they start making small changes this week, it could make a big difference. This year we are showcasing the largest number of actions in the European Week for Waste Reduction that we have ever held.  There are more than 50 different actions, to reach and help local residents reduce their waste and save money.”
Details of the many events and initiatives are listed below:

  • Human Library of Food: Come along to experience The Empathy Museum’s ‘living library’ of food on Saturday 28 November at the Brunei Gallery (in the SOAS campus, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG). Book a half hour slot and grab a quick chat with some human ‘books’ – that’s real people, each representing the various stages of food production. Guests include a butcher, forager, chef, volunteers and many more.  By the end of your visit, you will have learnt about the journey our food makes to get from farm to fork, providing an opportunity to reflect on the passion and energy that goes into food production.
  • ‘The Gift of Waste’ Cookery Sessions: Waste less and save more this Christmas and prepare an edible gift for someone special! We are running cookery sessions across north London, teaching techniques that preserve food, or make a good festive gift:


  • Monday 23 November at 6pm to 8pm: Mincemeat and Christmas Pudding making at Central Street Cookery School, St Luke’s Community Centre, 90 Central Street, Islington, EC1V 8AJ;
  • Tuesday 24 November at 6pm to 8pm: Learn how to make chutney at The Skip Kitchen, King’s Cross, Camden, N1C 4AQ;
  • Wednesday 25 November at 1.30pm to 5pm, or 6pm to 8pm: You will be taught how to preserve your own lemons and make Haringey Harissa! This session takes place at The Lordship Hub, Lordship Recreation Ground, Haringey, N17 6NU;
  • Thursday 26 November at 10am to 12pm or 6pm to 8pm: Learn about fermenting and make Sauerkraut and Kimchi at Made in Hackney, Food For All Basement, 3 Cazenove Road, Hackney, N16 5PA;
  • Thursday 26 November at 6.30pm to 8pm: Fermented food experts will teach you how to make pickle at The Fermentarium, Blackhorse Workshop, 1-2 Sutherland Road Path, Waltham Forest, E17 6BX;
  • Saturday 28 November at 2pm to 4pm: Fermented food experts will teach you how to make pickle at The Fermentarium, Blackhorse Workshop, 1-2 Sutherland Road Path, Waltham Forest, E17 6BX;
  • Tuesday 1 December at 6pm to 8pm: Urvashi Roe, former Great British Bake Off contestant, will show you three different ways to preserve food to make beautiful gifts at the Library Café, Enfield Town Library, 66 Church Street, Enfield, EN2 6AX; 
  • The Gift of Waste Cookery Book: In partnership with Hubbub and SOAS Food Studies Centre, a new cookery book is being published especially for EWWR. Professional food writer, Anna Colquhoun, toured round north London, gathering recipes to represent its diversity and culinary heritage. The book includes recipes, stories and anecdotes collected directly from residents. The book will be launched on 22 November and will be available to download for free here.
  • Real Nappy Christmas Gift: From Saturday 21 to Sunday 29 November, parents or parents-to-be, who apply for their real nappy subsidy will receive £70 off instead of the usual £54,15. 
  • Lunchtime office information stands: Waste Prevention Officers are visiting office buildings in each of the north London boroughs to help them to waste less and save more. There will be free tools and tips to help reduce food waste, including portion measurers and great recipes for using up leftovers. There will also be information about local recycling services, as well as how to reuse or recycle waste electrical items.
  • Give and Take Days: Four ‘Give and Take Days’ will take place during EWWR; in Islington, Barnet, Hackney and Enfield. These are free community exchange events where people bring unwanted household items, offered for others to take for free. Anyone can come along but there is a set ‘giving’ time before ‘taking begins. For full event details, visit our Give and Take Days page.
  • Art installations: Our successful Bag It Up + Reuse! project this year saw 10,000 residents across north London opt to swap a used plastic bag for a reusable one. In order to spread the bag reuse message further, we are transforming all the plastic bags we collected into an art installation. Further details will be added to the Wise Up To Waste website.
  • Waste prevention Christmas trees: In each of the seven north London boroughs, produced in partnership with artists Dallas Pierce Quintero and north London primary school pupils, will be special Christmas trees. The trees are made up from the most common types of food that get wasted: baked goods; drinks; vegetables; salad; fruit and leftover food and will be there to promote food waste reduction.

Why not join us at an EWWR event to find out how producing less waste can improve your community, as well as save your pennies!

For further information on the activities taking place over the European Week for Waste Reduction, visit wiseuptowaste.org.uk/waste-less/european-week-for-waste-reduction or the EWWR website at www.ewwr.eu/en.