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By Raúl Mannise
The refrigerator was launched by the Galdakao Volunteers Association on April 30, with the aim of preventing the leftover or expiring food that so many restaurants and homes generate every day from having another destination other than the landfill.
In its five weeks of operation, the refrigerator has received all kinds of food, always labeled with the date of its deposit: from lentil dishes or salad, to ice creams, smoothies, almost whole tortillas or the innumerable pintxos that are left over every night in the bars of the bars.
But the initiative has been a success not only because the refrigerator installed on Zabalea street is practically always filled and emptied on the same day, but also because of the civility with which the population has responded.
"I am super happy," confesses Álvaro Saiz, promoter of the initiative. "So far, we have not thrown anything away, there are hundreds of foods that people take and leave, without any act of vandalism," he says.
The Galdakao Volunteers Association does not count or weigh the number of food or drinks that are left on these shelves, nor does it place limits on the people who consume them.
“From the type of people who open the refrigerator to take food, it seems to us that the majority are people without resources. Some of us know that they even come with a cart from other municipalities, such as Amorebieta and Etxebarri ”, he says.
However, there are also cases of walkers who pass through the area and take the opportunity to open the refrigerator and have a smoothie or eat a skewer.
"It is designed so that anyone can use the refrigerator, because the first objective is to take advantage of the food that, otherwise, would end up being a waste", highlights its promoter, who imported the idea from Germany and now plans to install a second refrigerator "Solidarity" in another area of the municipality.
Although there are many individuals who come to this refrigerator to leave the food that they have left over, for the most part it is used by those in charge of bars and restaurants.
Alvaro LLonin, owner of the Topa restaurant, located in the central Juan Bautista Uriarte de Galdakao stall, confesses that he usually brings to this fridge already prepared skewers or dishes, vacuum packed, which are left over at his premises.
“You make a little effort to leave it in the refrigerator and, thus, if someone needs it, they take advantage of it. What if it is useful? More than for us, for people who don't have it ”, he highlights.
Llonin does not know the people who end up consuming the products that he leaves in this refrigerator, so he does not expect thanks either. It is enough for him, according to his account, to be certain that, with his gesture, he helps others.