Food Waste Reduction

Did You Know?Canadians waste more than six million tonnes of food annually

Produce represents the largest proportion of avoidable food waste.

The average garbage bag is one third organic waste.

$1,456 is the value of food thrown away each year in an average household.

About 47% of food is wasted at home by consumers, while the other 53% of waste occurs along the value food chain.  That means that we, as consumers, waste about as much as farms and producers, restaurants, retail, and processing combined!

In the County of Wellington, 69% of residents are of the opinion that too much food is being wasted by County residents. But only 40% claimed that they waste too much food at their own residence.

Image Description: How Much We Waste Annually

Canadians waste about 183 kilograms of solid food per person, equivalent to more than six million tonnes - about the weight of one million full-grown elephants.

 Reduction Tips

There are a number of different ways in which you can reduce food waste. Here are a few tips to help you with your food reduction goals.

1. Shop Smart

Plan your meals, shop with a list (and stick to the list) and eat up those leftovers. Don't shop hungry! Did you know that only 4% of Wellington County residents meal plan and buy only what they need?

2. Keep It Fresh

Set your fridge to the correct temperature – between 2 degrees Celsius and 4 degrees Celsius. Check out this helpful article on how to store these 11 perishable foods, or this article on simple storage solutions to keep food fresh for longer.

3. Freeze It

From kale to tomatoes, you would be amazed at what you can freeze. Freeze food up to 24 hours before its best before date. Check the recommended refrigeration and freezing times here.

4. Compost It

If you can’t use it or freeze it, put it into your green bin or backyard composter. Never put food waste in your recycling, always compost!

If you are looking for other ways to reduce food waste here are 20 foods you can eat past their expiry or check out this guideline about best before dates by Food Rescue.

For more great tips visit the Region of Peel's website.

You can also watch the following videos for facts about food waste, and helpful tips for reducing your food waste:

 Our Food Future

The County of Wellington is embarking on a new joint initiative with the City of Guelph – Our Food Future. 

The Guelph-Wellington initiative has won $10 million from Infrastructure Canada to implement their Smart Cities vision: Our Food Future, Canada’s first circular food economy.

Our Food Future has three goals:Our Food Future Logo

  • 50% increase in access to affordable, nutritious food;
  • 50 new circular food business and collaboration opportunities; and
  • 50% increase in economic benefit by unlocking the value of waste

Learn all about Our Food Future and the nine priority projects here.

 Love Food Hate Waste

Did you know that over 60% of household food waste in Canada is avoidable?! 

Often good food is wasted because we buy too much, cook too much, or don’t store it correctly.

Learn how to reduce the amount of food waste in your home with these tips:

Keep it Fresh!

  • Learn to store your food in the fridge and freezer so it lasts and stays fresh for longer. 

Use it Up!

  • Learn to use up all the food you buy – from reviving food that is past its peak to decoding best before dates to using up leftovers.

Plan it Out!

  • Learn to meal plan and shop smart, so you buy just what you need and use everything you buy. It's the most effective way to reduce food waste at home – and save money.

Love Food Hate Waste is here to help us all make the most of the food we love.

 Buy Local

Did you know that 80% of Wellington County residents buy local?! 

Not only are you supporting local farmers, and businesses by buying local, you are also doing your part to reduce air pollution and waste from excess packaging. 

Taste Real is a County initiative that supports local small businesses, farms and producers to build stronger rural communities and grow one of the most vibrant, local food economies and food tourism destinations in Ontario.

To find local food vendors in Guelph and Wellington County please click here.


If you're like me, you probably have a few wilted stems of kale in the fridge, or a couple of bruised tomatoes, or those leftovers that you just don't feel like eating for one more night in a row.

At the links below you will find a bunch of really great recipe ideas for those less than fresh veggies, and third day in a row leftovers.

Check it out!

York Region's Pinterest has lots of great recipes and tips on reducing food waste in your kitchen!

Family Friendly Cookbooks!

Click on the link below for some free downloadable cookbooks. The newest addition to the collection is titled Rock What You've Got: Recipes for Preventing Food Waste



© 2020 County of Wellington, 74 Woolwich St. Guelph, Ontario N1H 3T9, T 519.837.2600, TF 1.800.663.0750, F 519.837.1909