HOUSEHOLDS across Essex are being urged to recycle their uneaten food.

Essex County Council has launched a new campaign to increase the number of homes recycling their food waste.

Stickers, food caddy liners, and leaflets are being sent to properties in selected areas across the county.

The aim of the initiative is to reuse, recycle, or compost at least 70 per cent of all waste produced by Essex residents by 2030.

Through the campaign, the county is converting food waste into power, fuelling homes and schools with renewable energy.

Using a process known as anaerobic digestion, Essex County Council changes household waste into energy and high-quality crop fertiliser.

The initiative has proven fruitful, with more than 37,000 tonnes of food waste converted to date.

This effort has succeeded in helping to power 6,310 homes across the UK for one year, equating to a reduction of 32,776 tonnes in CO2 emissions.

Councillor Peter Schwier, Essex County Council’s cabinet member for environment, waste, reduction and recycling, said: "Great work is already being done by thousands of Essex residents, but we can still do more.

"By putting food out in their designated recycling bins, households are helping to generate green energy and are reducing the damage to our environment.

"Small actions can make a big difference and together we can tackle climate change to benefit generations to come."

Saffron Walden Reporter: East London Biogas siteEast London Biogas site (Image: Bio Capital)

What is anaerobic digestion?

Anaerobic digestion works by micro-organisms breaking down biodegradable material in a process which produces a biogas which, in turn, can be used to create green energy, as well as creating fertiliser and compost.

The council is working with East London Biogas who facilitate this process, sending the site 37,444 tonnes of food waste last year.

Ady Coman, site manager at East London Biogas, said: "The partnership with Essex County Council has provided a great source of feedstock coming into our East London site.

"We believe in turning food into a valuable resource and making a difference to contribute to net zero targets within the UK.

"We at Bio Capital not only contribute to a cleaner environment, but also generate renewable energy that powers homes and businesses in our community."