Bin lorries in Moray have been branded with an environmental message to cut down on wasted food at Christmas.
Every year about 5,000 tonnes of uneaten meals is buried under the ground at Dallachy – costing the council about £400,000 a year in taxes.
Green slogans have now been emblazoned on the side of bin lorries to encourage households to recycle food over Christmas, which usually sees a spike in the amount being thrown away.
Moray has the second best record in reusing rubbish in Scotland but lags behind in the food tables.
Officials hope the messages will encourage residents to put leftovers from meals into brown bins to cut down on the waste and tax bills.
Food recycled in Moray is sent to Aberdeenshire where it is turned into an organic fertiliser for north-east farmers with the remnants used in horticulture.
Councillor John Cowe, chairman of the council’s economic development and infrastructure committee, is eager to see food wasted from generous portions over the festive period recycled.
He said: “Last year Moray residents helped us to achieve a very impressive overall recycling rate and that rose to more than 61% in the first six months of this year.
“But about 34% of the contents of an average green bin is food waste, which is very disappointing and is costing the council a fortune in landfill tax to the Scottish Government.
“The vast majority of homes in Moray are provided with a brown bin and that is where food waste should go so that it can be recycled.”