KEEN foodies and local activists in West Somerset are leading the way in a new campaign to cut waste throughout the county in 2013.

As part of the Green Routine 2013 campaign, 18 food enthusiasts from a range of community groups gathered in Williton for a free training course about reducing food waste.

The idea is that they will pass on simple ideas on portion sizes, storage and reusing leftovers to help families in West Somerset save food and cash while still eating well.

Average families with children throw away £50 a month of food, most of which is avoidable, so food is a key part of Green Routine, backed by Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP).

In Somerset, SWP collects 35,000 tonnes of food waste from households each year but only about half is placed in kerbside food waste containers for recycling.

The rest goes in the refuse bin and is sent to landfill, where it decays and produces damaging pollution at a cost of £85 a tonne.

Marlene Taylor from the national Love Food Hate Waste initiative, part of the government-backed Waste Resources Action Programme, led the free training.

Marlene said: “We had fantastic interest from local community group representatives in finding out more about Love Food Hate Waste.

“They learned lots of tips and techniques to help make their food go further, as well as thought about ways in which they can pass these messages on to others through work, friends and family, so that even more people benefit from our moneysaving messages.”

Among the groups that took part in the training were the Alcombe, Williton, Watchet and Little Vikings children’s centres, Transition Minehead and Alcombe, the Exmoor Coast Federation of schools and West Somerset’s education and family support charity CLOWNS.

Tracey Bland, of Little Vikings Children’s Centre in Watchet, said: “The training was great and I am sure it will be very useful to help the families whose children come to the centre.

“We also run a food co-op to keep costs down for local families and so we will be distributing information on Love Food Hate Waste with the veg boxes we send out.”

Green Routine has 12 monthly themes, including shopping, clutter and gardening, to help West Somerset’s residents keep more cash in their pockets and put less rubbish in their bins.

Both individuals and local community groups can get involved by visiting