Blog Post A – A Day in the Life

Defining Organic Waste

According to Australian Government’s Department of the Environment, ‘Organic waste is a component of the waste stream from plant or animal sources that is readily biodegradable, e.g. paper and cardboard, food waste, bio-solids, green waste and timber.’ (Australian Government, 2011) Organic waste can be used as compost and utilized to generate energy, however through research it is discovered that approximately 50% of waste that is classified as ‘general waste’ in a household is actually organic. Not only that but 30% of overall general waste being taken to landfills are also organic as well. (NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA), 2015)

 

1-Day Waste Audit

A waste audit is a record of waste produced and generated during a certain period of time which allows a more in-depth understanding of the situation in front of us. (Waste Audit, 2013)

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The waste audit shown above is mainly on my food consumption in one day’s time and this is because my dietary needs and timetable is different from the rest of my household so I tend to have most of my meals separate from them. Although most of the waste is either recyclable and/or are organic, all of the organic waste in our household tend to be placed into the general waste section but all of the recyclables go to its rightful place. Cardboard boxes, containers and other recyclable products tend to be easier to manage by just washing them thoroughly and throwing them into the recycling bin. However, organic wastes such as food scraps are harder to deal with in a big household and it tends to create a heavier smell which our household isn’t very fond of thus it is mostly thrown into a plastic bag and taken to the general waste bin.

 

Cycle of an Avocado

Avocados are a much loved healthier alternative to using butter/margarine and sauces, so how do they end up in our fridge? Firstly, the crops must be planted and grown into orchards, sounds simple but it really needs a lot of attention to detail to maintain high standards with the involvement of: pest control, environment conditioning and chemical usages.
Next is harvesting, New South Wales and Queensland (the two largest producing states) harvest approximately 90% of the avocados produced in Australia and altogether in Australia a total of 55,000 tonnes of avocados were grown. (Queensland Government, 2014) These harvested avocadoes are then distributed to domestic and international markets with 60% of the produce sold through supermarkets (e.g. Coles and Woolworths) and only around 10% is exported overseas.
We as consumers buy the avocadoes off the shelf and use it for our dietary needs, and leftover scraps are dealt with in 3 ways: either in the trash (ending in landfills), used as compost and regrowth, or taken to the compost bin for larger organic waste management plans to take place.
Through this we understand that producing and selling an avocado is not just one man’s job but involves several industries together to provide the best.

 

References

Australian Government – Department of the Environment. 2013, National Organic Waste Profile, viewed 11 June 2016,
<http://www.environment.gov.au/topics/environment-protection/nwp/reporting/organic-waste>

NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA). 2015, Organic Waste, viewed 11 June 2016,<http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/waste/organic-waste.htm>

Queensland Government – Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. 2014, Avocados, viewed 11 June 2016,
<https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/plants/fruit-and-vegetables/fruit-and-nuts/avocados>

Waste Audit. 2013, What is a Waste Audit?, viewed 11 June 2016, < http://www.wasteaudit.com.au/wp_super_faq/what-is-a-waste-audit/>

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