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Waste Wise invites Lane County residents to repurpose holiday leftovers for recipe contest

Cooked turkey being carved.
Brian Bull
What can you do with leftover turkey that rewards your taste buds? Waste Wise wants your recipes.

Before you toss those leftover yams or turkey, Lane County officials urge you to get creative and share a recipe instead.

Glazed ham on table.
Brian Bull
A glazed ham can be remade into sandwiches, stews, or anything else a creative cook can devise.

Waste Wise is part of the county’s waste management division, and for the second year of its “Simplify the Holidays” campaign, is sponsoring a recipe contest.

Waste reduction outreach coordinator Dan Hiestand said the holidays are a time of joy and merriment, but also of waste.

“20% of the garbage Lane County residents throw away is actually purchased food,” Hiestand told KLCC. “So there’s an opportunity there for improvement. In fact, the average family of four tosses out roughly $2000 every year in wasted food.”

Food waste is a leading methane producer, which contributes to global warming.

“Waste Wise Lane County is laser-focused on helping empower residents and businesses with food waste reduction tools,” Hiestand said. “Between 30 to 40 percent of all food produced is never eaten, so preventing wasted food is one of the most powerful things we can do to address the climate crisis. Eating what you have is a critical part of that. We hope this contest shows leftovers can be quite delicious with a little creativity while saving money.”

People have until New Year’s Eve to submit their homespun recipes, with winners announced on January 3. Rules are on Waste Wise's social media accounts. Prizes include gift certificates and sustainable products, as well as peace of mind knowing those cranberries aren’t headed to the landfill.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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