Tag Archives: reduce

Free LFHW cooking classes come to an end…..

11 Apr

Cracking Good Food blogger CORIN BELL updates us on the last Recycle for Greater Manchester free cooking class and looks back over the last  12 months.

I can’t believe it was the grand finale of our Love Food Hate Waste sessions – what an adventure it’s been! We spent the afternoon with some lovely folk in St Herbert’s Parish Centre in Chadderton showing them how to make Mexican quesadillas with refried beans and spicy salsa… yum! Cracking Good Food sessions are never a spectator sport, so after a quick intro from our cooking leader Maz, the group was straight in to learning safe chopping skills. Rule number 1: If you want to keep all your fingers, chop awkward shaped veg in half and lay them on their flat surface – that way they don’t roll around and you don’t slip with the knife – thanks Maz!

While Maz cooked up the beans and salsa, our participants helped by chopping and preparing other ingredients and took part in our favourite food waste ‘fix-it’ game. This involved sharing ideas about foods that tend to go to waste in fridges/cupboards; getting tips on how to use them up rather than let them go off. We were all surprised when someone asked what they should do with leftover wine… this resulted in a few raised eyebrows and a very obvious answer!

We had loads of good tips from the group, my favourite one of the day was about using up those “super grains” which we buy for one particular recipe and then leave in the back of the cupboard. One of our lovely Chadderton locals had discovered that you can make porridge out of quinoa, millet, wheat flakes, and all sorts! Some just need a little more sweetness, which means you can also use up honey, golden syrup or even jam.

After 12 months of cutting, chopping, cooking and talking, I think that the LFHW message is becoming much more popular. People are smarter with their leftover food and we found that they are eager to pass on their handy tips; like grating hard cheese before it goes mouldy, making breadcrumbs from stale bread; both can go in the freezer.

Now we have finished all our cooking sessions for Recycle for Greater Manchester we have taken some time to reflect on how good we have been at spreading the messages of reducing  food waste by keeping food fresher for longer, making meals from leftovers, shopping smarter and using more of what you find in your cupboards.

We’ve cooked with over 300 residents at 24 different community and social centres across Greater Manchester. The feedback shows we have inspired around 80% of participants to use their leftovers to create cheap and tasty meals. One resident said “I will be more creative with the bits of food left over in my fridge..”. Others have decided that they would plan meals and write a shopping list to avoid impulse purchases and those very tempting BOGOF offers.

Cracking Good Food

Cracking Good Food


It is sad to see these sessions come to an end, so here’s hoping we’re back soon with lots more free classes and tips! In the meantime you can be inspired by the fantastic leftover recipes on the Recycle for Greater Manchester website.

ReStyled Waste for Climate Week

7 Mar

As Climate Week draws to a close we are reminded of the amount of waste we all contribute to both globally and nationally. Here in England we actually generate about 177 million tonnes of waste every year. It is shocking. So when we heard about the enterprising recycling ideas coming from a group of young women at Altrincham Grammar School we invited them to tell us about it. ReStyled, are an inspiration and the authors of this week’s blog.


We are a group of students at Altrincham Grammar School for Girls and our company was set up through the National Young Enterprise Programme. Our company, ReStyled has been driven by the shared opinion that reusing and recycling as a necessity to a stable environment. We feel it is important to view our waste in a new way to encourage a healthy attitude towards reducing waste for a greener, less cluttered environment. We hope to inspire other innovative ideas to come together for the cause of a more sustainable future.

Many people drink Capri Suns, which makes them a readily available resource for collection. Capri Sun packets are not currently recycled in Greater Manchester but are an excellent material and we believe it shouldn’t be wasted. We think they are a fun and colourful packaging, which is perfect for making a variety of products such as purses, bags and pencil cases. It is durable, waterproof and easy to clean, which is perfect for the majority market of school students.

restyled bags2

Over the last year we have also been selling our product at a number of events, such as Manchester Christmas markets as well as online.

We are always looking for new ideas and sourcing new waste items that we can recycle; we will be expanding our product using different materials that cannot normally be recycled. Our latest product that we are beginning to focus on is recycling old tape cassettes to make attractive stationary pen/pencil holders. Audio cassette tapes are now mostly obsolete but there are still loads of them around so we are able to source these from several places such as freecycle.org website, which shares our interest in the importance of recycling.


To keep up with what we are doing follow us on twitter , FB and look at what we are making on instagram .


Spice up your life with a leftover chilli

6 Feb

This weeks blog comes from Cracking Good Food

With the nation tightening its belt, you may not know that we’ve been running free Love Food Hate Waste (LFHW) cookery classes in partnership with Recycle for Greater Manchester. Our recent class at Ashton Town Hall was a spicy treat and it was a brilliant opportunity to show everyone just how easy and affordable it is to make tasty veggie chilli.  With the average family wasting £60 a month on food that is not eaten, this session introduced the class to helpful ways to save time and money.

Some participants wanted to peel their veggies but in true LFHW style our cooking guru Maz explained the benefits of keeping the skins on such as extra vitamins. This meant we had very little peelings to be recycled. Even better, one of the attendees, John, asked if he could take them for his wormery! Result! No waste at all!

Veg and bean chilli with rice on a dish We got all the veg chopped and into the pans with the spices and tinned tomatoes. We opened the tins of beans and showed everyone the different types. All were pretty familiar with the kidney beans but most had not had much experience of aduki and pinto beans. Lots of questions were asked as to their taste, price and availability. Some people tried them and some were surprised at their ‘nuttiness’. We also discussed the high protein content and cheap cost and how they could be bought for very little dried, so any excess could be shared with friends and family.

Our quiz went down well again and we had some lovely comments about how much fun was had discussing using up the ingredients left in our cupboards and fridges. It was agreed that some great recipes could be put together with leftovers including making a sandwich which is a fantastic way to use up food.

Shopping habits were discussed and questions asked about best places to buy items and how planning and portion control are great ways to limit wastage plus freezing any extra portions.

The chili was ready to serve and the rice had fluffed up a treat. One or two people were cautious about chili heat but Maz explained that you can make this dish as hot or mild as you like. Plus the great thing about this dish is the versatility of the recipe. This one pot wonder can use all sorts of veggies; whatever you’ve got in your fridge and cupboard.

Bean and Veg Chilli Cracking Good Food RecipeWe made two chillies that night and the spicier of the two was the most popular! Lots of chilli fans in this session! Take home containers were filled with the leftovers and true to the session ethos, there was no waste whatsoever!  Storage is so important if you want to keep food fresher for longer!

The class was a great success. We had some really lovely comments from the participants who had learned what they could do with leftovers. We made learning to cook uncomplicated and fun. Result!

You can download the chilli recipe but why not come and join the fun! For more information about future classes visit our website www.recycleforgreatermanchester.com/events

Can’t See the Trees through the Paper

30 Jan

In my previous post, Humbug… you might remember I was far from being in the Christmas spirit; I ended sending out zero Christmas cards and wrapped zero presents… (Scrooge!) This got me wondering how much rubbish I generate post festive season.

So, I have taken ‘thinking outside of the box’ to another level and starting to think about cardboard boxes (among other paper-related items). To which I asked myself:

“How much paper and cardboard do I actually recycle?”

So to answer this question I embarked on a challenge and hoarded all my paper and cardboard for four weeks. If you wondering, it looks a bit like this:

Tina with January's paper and card recycling

Tina goes ‘free range’ for a bid to reduce paper and card…

There was a grand total of 210 items, which included:

  • 36 pieces of junk mail, mostly consisting of takeaway menus
  • 31 food-related packaging, 4 were pizza boxes
  • 38 train/tram tickets
  • 23 envelopes
  • 2 toilet roll tubes
  • 2 cinema tickets
  • 1 light bulb box!

This left me quite shocked about the quantity of paper waste I generated, especially by the amount of egg boxes! 8 in total meaning I’ve eaten 48 eggs in January…surely not!

After recovering from the thought of over egg consumption and paper cuts, I realised there was a lot more stuff that is made of paper than I thought.  This might sound ridiculous but its only when you have a  rummage in the recycling that you really start appreciating trees!

Doing some research, I discovered that on average 6 trees worth of paper is used every year per household in Greater Manchester that equates to 6 million trees!

To put this into context, over 100,000 copies of the Metro newspaper is printed every day which weighs approximately 16.5 tonnes which means a saving of 396 trees!

(Calculations are based on average weight of newspaper 165g and 24 trees per tonne of newspaper).

The good news is, (pardon the pun) all of the newsprint manufactured here in the UK is now made from 100% recycled paper.

So do trees a favour and recycle your paper.  My mission now is to see if I can reduce the number of egg boxes… might be worth investing in a hen! #Simpleas

It’s time to move Up and Forward for Volunteer week

3 Jun

banner with tress and sky with the text 'helping to improve Greater Manchester for everyone'Volunteers wanted for The New Up & Forward Project

funded by The European Union under the Life + Program.

It’s Volunteer Week and a  new project has arrived in Greater Manchester. Working with hard to reach communities, the Up and Forward project will work with residents across Greater Manchester to help them waste less & recycle more!

Campaigns willl take place in the heart of the communities and is very much focused on the Community’s needs, opinions, requirements and gives them a voice!

 We are looking for Volunteers to come on board with us as part of this fantastic program over the next 2 years. Are you interested?

This  includes providing you with  training to become your local Community’s Recycling Ambassador & help us at the same time to send & feedback the recycling messages.

With Duties including some local door knocking exercises, asking your neighbours to fill in questionnaires & interactive survey’s leading to attending local focus groups. This is a project that can focus on you and relies on your knowledge and relationship within the community. Finally, you will be one of the voices of Up & Forward  and will be helping your local community to reduce, re-use and recycle.

 This will surely provide you with the chance to make a different & be an inspiration to other’s to recycle more!

 The project covers 4 different themes and 12 campaigns:


Ranging from community rewards campaigns in local schools to local business campaigns aiming for them to be focal points & improve the awareness of recycling messages.

Faith & Culture

Let’s work with your local community and its beliefs to address the problems of recycling and establish the common barriers to recycling & create communications suitable for your community.

Student & Short Lets

Whether its renting in short term accommodation, working with landlords & tenants to improve communication channels or running a Golden bin scheme;  this theme is sure to get all the community involved to have some fun & at the same time learn about recycling in their community


Working with residents to improve recycling in their flats and help them to recycle to together

The projects are spread across 9 Greater Manchester districts including Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside & Trafford.

This will provide a total of 42 different campaigns over the next 2 years into 2015.

To find out more please visit www.recycleforgreatermanchester.com/upandforward

Or contact us via email: upandforward@gmwda.gov.uk

Come and join in the recycling fun!

Community projects receive a New Year boost

9 Jan

Recycle IT van and logoTell everyone all about it; we want some wonderful innovative projects to benefit from our Community Waste Fund. Do   creative and sustainable project?  We would like projects that have captured the imagination of the 3Rs, Reduce, Re-use and Recycle to increase the recycling rate and continue to help with our ambition of zero waste to landfill.

We have supported 22 community waste projects since 2010, from residents groups running swap shop events to Social Housing Landlords working in partnership with Community Furniture projects to provide affordable furniture to people on a low income.

The fund, which is now open until the 15th February 2013 is for community groups, charities and not for profit organisations that have a project which can contribute to helping their community to use waste as a resource.

If you think this fund is something for you and your group or organisation, then waste no time and apply.

The love of food continues………….

29 Oct
cookery class attendees are busy preparing a vegetable and lentil curry

Busy cookery class……

Ashton session – Thursday 25th at Dukinfield Town Hall with Alison

Tonight we found ourselves in the wonderful building that is Dukinfield Town Hall. We had a full house of attendees from the local area keen to spruce up their cooking skills and learn some really important facts about food waste and ways we can reduce it.  We got on with preparing for the curry straight away and everyone gave themselves a job to do. We had a quick demo on finely chopping garlic and chillis, which impressed the group and we talked about all sorts of ways you can reduce your food waste, saving you money and trying to reduce land fill! Everyone was really chuffed with their Love Food Hate Waste containers and we filled them up with curry and rice with some fresh chopped coriander for everyone to take home.

Bolton session – Monday 22 at St Elizabeth Church Horwich with Gideon                                                                                                

As with the previous Love Food Hate Waste cooking sessions the participants came together to cook a vegetable curry and broaden their knowledge of careful food management at home.

With a broad spectrum of people everyone got stuck into preparing the vegetables for the curry and were soon chatting about the food they make at home and using up leftovers. The vegetable curry is an ideal dish to use up those limp veggies sitting at the back of the fridge which might get thrown away, as is a hearty soup as suggested by one of the cooks.

All were most interested in using pulses such as lentils, beans and peas as a great way to bulk up a meal and as alternative to meat in dishes such as a puy lentil bolognese and lasagne.

The most popular and practical plan we discussed was for a roast chicken dinner, stretched to include two more meals. A risotto or chicken curry, followed by a soup and maybe even some extra stock from the last remenants of goodness from the bones.

By this point we were all very peckish and fortunately the curry was ready so we all tucked in to a delicious, healthy, nutritious and frugal meal.

Food Glorious Food………….

24 Oct Man with Love Food Hate Waste storage container filled with vegetable and lentil curry
Man with Love Food Hate Waste storage container filled with vegetable and lentil curry

The vegetable and lentil curry was good enough to take home

Kim, one of the cooking leaders from Cracking Good Food shares Tuesday night’s cooking experience….

Tuesday evening saw Cracking Good Food in Stockport, as part of the Love Food Hate Waste campaign which we are delivering in partnership with Recycle for Manchester.

 Lots of eager cooks braved the cold Autumn eve and turned up ready to don their aprons and get cracking.

Our top tips to cut down on wastage were eagerly received and soon the group were sharing their own….rice cooking methods from Madagascar, what to do with cauliflower stalks and re planting herbs on the window sill were all discussed.  We did so much talking we nearly forgot to cook!  Our veg and lentil curry was soon bubbling away and the pungent spices filled the air.

 As the rice steamed we quickly made a yoghurt riata with fresh mint and cucumber…the perfect accompaniment to any curry.

The room quietened down (always a good sign!) as people tucked in and agreed that they would definately be trying the recipe at home….even the curry sceptics agreed, it was indeed a lovely dish :) 

Look what’s cooking!

19 Oct


Participants of the LFHW cookery classes chopping up food

Participants get stuck into the cooking class in Bury

The Chesham Fold Community Centre  cookery class was ran by Gideon Foster on Monday the 15th October

As part of a Love Food Hate Waste educational program around Manchester I led the first of a series of cooking sessions at a community centre in Bury.

We had a fantastic turn-out on what was a cold and damp evening, the session was due to start at 7pm and just before the start time there was only a few of us setting up the table and discussing the ingredients to be used for the vegetable curry we would be cooking that evening.

But suddenly the room was full and bustling and we all got stuck in to preparing the vegetables. Peeling, chopping and dicing as we discussed the importance of not wasting any food and the suitability of a vegetable curry for using up those limp vegetables at the back of the fridge.

With at least one person proclaiming that they didn’t like curry everyone tucked in and enjoyed it, coming back for seconds and taking more away in their LFHW containers. A very rewarding cooking session, educational for the participants and I hope inspiring.

Inspire Community centre  in Levenshulme cookery class  ran by Alison Maudsley on the 17th October

Last night’s session involved cooking a yummy vegetable and lentil curry with rice with a focus on reducing food waste at home. The session was attended by 18 people from the local area who all wanted to learn some new cooking skills and share handy hints and tips on their own ways of reducing food waste such as cooking in bulk and freezing, eating the leaves on a cauliflower as cabbage ( a personal favourite), using the grey caddy bin and food liners for all compostable items, see link: freezing herbs and vegetables, sticking to your budget, only buying what you need and planning meals in advance. We all sat round together and ate the wonderful curry before everyone headed home with leftovers!

There is still chance to book on a cookery class here

Win a meal for two at the River Bar and Restaurant

1 Aug

Tasty leftovers and savings of up to £50 a month! Sound familiar? We would like residents in Greater Manchester to embrace Love Food Hate Waste this Autumn, but first we would like to find out a bit about their food waste habits to help form a better understanding of why we are throwing away millions of pounds a year of edible food. We are asking residents to fill in a quick survey for the chance to win a meal for two at the River Bar and Restaurant at the Lowry Hotel www.recycleforgreatermanchester.com/food.

Households in Greater Manchester are wasting up to £680 a year by throwing away perfectly edible food. Recycle for Greater Manchester is continuing with the popular Love Food Hate Waste campaign in September and October and will host cookery classes and cooking demonstrations, as well as working with local retailers, in the bid to reduce food waste in Greater Manchester.

Got leftovers? Then why not take a look at our tasty recipe cards, which also contain hints and tips on storage and portion sizes.

Look out for more details soon.

Lady at a cooking station in a previous cookery class


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