Kirstin Davis

Holiday meal tips from your City Solid Waste team!

Kirstin Davis, Communications Manager, 509.625.7773

Monday, November 20, 2023 at 4:49 p.m.

Holiday meal tips from your City Solid Waste team!

The holiday meal season is here! It’s the time of year we cook food that we haven’t prepared for a year and for larger groups of family and friends. There are a few things we want you to know about planning for and cleaning up after the big meal.

Plan Ahead to Reduce Food Waste

As a community, Spokane is leading the state in throwing away uneaten and spoiled food in the trash. Consider ways to cut down on the amount of wasted food during the holidays. In Spokane, about a third of everything that ends up in the trash is organic material that could have been composted. Much of that is food, which is a shame when so many in our community are facing food insecurity and don’t know when or where their next meal is going to come from.

  • Trust recipe servings and avoid the urge to increase amounts.
  • Make a list before you shop for your planned meal or dish and stick to it.
  • If non-perishable food goes unused, donate it to a local food bank.
  • Assign to-go containers when someone asks, “What can I bring?”

Disposable Aluminum Pans

Turkey, pie, and green bean casserole can all be cooked in disposable aluminum pans. While aluminum cans can be recycled once emptied and cleaned, disposable pans, even if cleaned, need to go into your brown garbage cart.

Leftovers for Days

Holiday leftovers are a fan favorite. The best thing to do with leftovers is to not let them go to waste. How?

  • Ask guests to bring their own to-go containers to load up with leftovers.
  • If you still have leftovers after a few days, freeze turkey meat and vegetables to make soup.
  • Freeze rolls and leftover pie for dessert later!

If you end up with food waste, put it in your green yard waste cart. That makes sure it goes back to the soil instead of being burned at the Waste to Energy Plant.

Potato Peels and Food Scraps

Avoid holiday sink clogs and put potato peels and other food scraps you can’t use for future soups or cooking in your green yard waste cart to be composted. An easy tip is to keep a bowl nearby to toss peelings or scraps into when you’re prepping the meal to avoid extra trips!

What about grease?

If you won’t use the grease from your roasted turkey, do not pour it down the drain. Fats, oils, and grease are a particular problem for our wastewater system. Oily, greasy waste that gets into a sink or drain, and then into the sewer can build up and cause sewer blockages. In fact, they are the number one cause of blockages, because it solidifies on the walls of sewer pipe. Instead, collect fats, oils, or grease into a container that can be sealed and put into the garbage for disposal.

Check out these videos!

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