Food waste produced by Borders high schools up by more than half

Hawick High School.
Hawick High School.

More than 14 tonnes of food waste were generated by the Borders’ nine high schools in last year.

That represents a 58.7% increase on the 8.8 tonnes of waste discarded by secondary schools the year before.

Berwickshire High School.

Berwickshire High School.

That surge is revealed in a freedom-of-information response from Scottish Borders Council’s catering department to a member of the public who wanting to know the volume of food thrown away after school meals.

Topping the wasted food league is Galashiels Academy with 2,979 kilos, up from just 568 kilos in 2015, followed by Earlston High with 2,910 kilos, up from 1,485.

By contrast, just 171 kilos were discarded at Kelso High, up from 84, and 208 kilos at Jedburgh Grammar, up from 54.

A council spokesperson said: “These figures are due to a number of reasons, including the increased amount of fresh fruit and vegetables being used by our secondary school catering staff, which, in turn, leads to more natural waste from peelings.

“All school meals served in Borders schools are made in the region, and this has also helped lead to an increased uptake in school meals by pupils.

“Some of the Borders’ secondary schools now have amongst the highest school meals uptake in Scotland which, again, leads to more natural wastage.”

Berwickshire High in Duns threw out 2,509 kilos of food waste, down from 2,387 in 2015; Eyemouth High 1,840, down from 1,949; Selkirk High 1,122, up from 764; Hawick High 1,436, up from 901; and Peebles High 909, up from 681.

Accurate food waste data for the region’s primary schools have yet to be uploaded by the council’s information department, but the Wee paper understands the biggest generator of food waste was Lauder Primary, with 3,825 kilos in 2016, followed by Balmoral and the Burgh schools in Galashiels with 2,126 kilos and 1,718 kilos respectively.