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Norfolk’s first community fridge is proving a success

PUBLISHED: 10:38 16 November 2017 | UPDATED: 10:59 16 November 2017

Watton's Community Fridge has become a success within weeks of its launch.Pictured from left to right are Breckland councillor Paul Claussen; Wayland Partnership trustee Roger Harrold; Wayland Partnership chair of trustees Jan Godfrey; and trustee Bronwen Tyler at Wayland House. Picture: Breckland Council

Watton's Community Fridge has become a success within weeks of its launch.Pictured from left to right are Breckland councillor Paul Claussen; Wayland Partnership trustee Roger Harrold; Wayland Partnership chair of trustees Jan Godfrey; and trustee Bronwen Tyler at Wayland House. Picture: Breckland Council

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Norfolk’s first community fridge has already proved a success just weeks after it was launched.

Breckland councillor Paul Claussen and Wayland Partnership trustee Roger Harrold launching Watton's Community Fridge. Picture: Breckland CouncilBreckland councillor Paul Claussen and Wayland Partnership trustee Roger Harrold launching Watton's Community Fridge. Picture: Breckland Council

Introduced at the start of the month, Wayland’s Community Fridge has seen both residents and businesses leave food for others to take away.

The fridge, located at Wayland House in Watton, is open every day to enable people from Watton and the surrounding 13 parishes to share surplus food for free.

Anyone can help themselves to the food that would otherwise have been wasted.

Within 10 days of the fridge’s opening on November 1, 51.5kg of food was saved from landfill and as of November 14 that had risen to 70kg.

More than 50 people had used the fridge and around 25 individual residents had left food for others to enjoy within the first two weeks.

Paul Claussen, Breckland Council’s executive member for place, said: “No one likes to see food that can still be eaten going to waste and the community fridge is such a simple way to help prevent this.

“Despite growing awareness of food waste generally, until now there were not many ways for our local businesses to get food nearing its ‘use by’ date to those who could use it.”

MORE - How Fakenham is about to bring the fight against food waste to a new level

Watton Bakery was the first business to sign-up to the scheme and donates a selection of unsold goods daily. Tesco have also joined.

Wayland Academy has pledged to take any stale or out-of-date food from the fridge to feed it to the school’s chickens.

The Wayland Partnership, which joined with Breckland Council and Recycle for Norfolk to launch the scheme, is calling on the support of all food businesses to donate surplus food within its ‘use by’ date.

In the UK food waste is a big issue - with the average family throwing away £700 worth of food every year.

Four million people in the UK are living in food poverty and most food waste is avoidable.

MORE - Fight to cut food waste in Norfolk is stepped up - watch one man’s ‘Plan Eat Save’ video diary

Mr Claussen added: “The community fridge is open to all and we hope that local food retailers and residents will make good use of it.”

Recycle for Norfolk is working to establish a total of seven community fridges across the county.

Any business who wants to get involved is asked to call the Wayland Partnership on 01953 883915.

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