02/11/17: Norfolk's first ever 'Community Fridge' comes to Watton

Wayland Community FridgeBreckland Council, the Wayland Partnership, and Recycle for Norfolk have launched Norfolk's first ever 'Community Fridge'. Supported by the environmental charity Hubbub UK, the Wayland Community Fridge is part of a growing effort to tackle food waste.

The fridge is located at the Wayland Partnership's offices at Wayland House in Watton and will be open every day to enable residents and businesses to share surplus food for free. Anyone can help themselves to free quality food that would otherwise have been wasted.

Watton Bakery is the first business to confirm it will contribute to the scheme, by donating a selection of unsold goods daily at 3.30pm. The Wayland Partnership is calling on the support of all food businesses in Watton to donate surplus food still within its 'use by' date from 1 November onwards.

Food waste is a big issue in the UK. The average family throws away £700 worth of food every year and at the same time 4 million people in the UK are living in food poverty. Most food waste in the UK (4.1 million tonnes or 61%) is avoidable and could have been eaten had it been better managed.

Breckland Council's Executive Member for Place, Cllr Paul Claussen, 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. The Community Fridge is open to all and we hope that local food retailers and residents will make good use of it."

The Chair of the Norfolk Waste Partnership, Cllr John Fisher, commented "We are delighted to be part of the UK's growing Community Fridge Network. With ultimately seven Community Fridges being installed in Norfolk, we will have the largest network of Community Fridges outside of London."

The fridge was unveiled on 1 November as part of the launch of the Watton & Carbrooke Discovery Community, which is an initiative aimed at reducing food waste. Watton & Carbrooke is one of seven new Discovery Communities being set-up in Norfolk by the Norfolk Waste Partnership under the banner of Recycle for Norfolk funded by Sainsbury's plc.

Otherwise known as 'honesty' fridges, community fridges have been successfully introduced in Spain, Germany and other parts of the UK. Recycle for Norfolk is working to establish a total of seven community fridges across Norfolk as part of its Waste Less Save More Discovery Community project working with Sainsbury's.

Further details about the fridge and everything planned in the Watton & Carbrooke Discovery Community can be found via Twitter and Facebook (@PlanEatSave & @Recycle4Norfolk) or at Recycle for Norfolk