FREE cake was handed out to 50 people who brought items to a food bank collection in Bournemouth on Saturday.

The event, held in Bournemouth Square, was organised to mark the council’s new food waste collections for households, which started last week.

The celebration featured a street-dancing performance from 26 children of Pavilion Dance South West, with cake being given to the first 50 people who brought food donations for the food bank.

Rosie Ryves-Webb, waste and recycling communications officer, said they wanted to provide people with more information about the new collections together with free food related items to help residents reduce their food waste.

“We also want to give the public an opportunity to raise any concerns they may have,” she added.

At noon, the mayor, Cllr Rodney Cooper, cut the specially designed ceremonial cake whilst a team from Fairtrade dispensed advice and information about their organisation in the town.

Cllr Michael Filer, cabinet member for waste, said: “The idea behind this event was to give residents an opportunity to ask questions face-to-face to our highly experienced waste officers and to give feedback about the scheme.

“We are pleased to have gained the funding from central government to put the new food waste collections into operation and want it to be a success. Bournemouth residents already recycle a huge amount so we hope they will be as enthusiastic about the new food waste collections.”

The event came after the Echo reported at the weekend that more than 100 food bins were accidentally thrown away by council staff.

The problem occurred with food caddies that were clipped into residents’ ‘little bins’, as advised by the council, with some refuse workers forgetting to remove the caddies and placing the entire contents into their rubbish trucks.

The council said it received reports of 108 containers going missing – a tiny proportion of the 62,000 households included in the scheme, and are attempting to recover discarded caddies from the landfill site at Canford Magna.