HUNDREDS of tonnes of food waste can be avoided in Barnsley over the festive period, a local partnership has advised.

The Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham (BDR) waste partnership estimates that the equivalent of 4.2 million Christmas dinners are wasted each year across the UK. This equates to around eight mission slices of turkey, 11 million roast potatoes, 17 million Brussels sprouts, 23 million parsnips and carrots and seven million pigs in blankets. BDR has encouraged people in Barnsley to plan meals ahead of Christmas Day and make use of leftovers - most of which can be refrigerated and frozen. Leftover roast veggies can make warming winter soup, while uncooked sprouts can be shredded and put in a stir fry or curry, they have suggested. In addition, BDR have issued a turkey portioning guide which recommends cooking 350-400 grams per person for roasts on the bone, 250-300 grams per person for joins off the bone, and just 150 grams per person for pre-cooked, chilled turkey.

The waste partnership operates all year round to reduce landfill waste. It is estimated that last year nearly a tonne of waste was produced by each of the 350,000 households across Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham. They claim that 97 per cent of the waste taken to their plant in Rotherham is diverted away from landfill, either by extracting recyclable materials, or by repurposing organic waste as fuel for heating and electricity. Abi Reid, Community Liaison at BDR's waste processing plant, said "This year more than ever people are feeling the squeeze on their household budgets and looking at ways to reduce costs but still enjoy the festive celebrations."With food prices continuing to rise, we need to be sure that the money spent on Christmas food is not wasted. "That is bad for our pocket and the environment."