Blog post A. Waste audit

1 day waste audit of organic waste

Before the waste audit, I needed to know what organic waste is exactly. Therefore, I did research about organic waste at first. Organic waste is the fraction of our waste. It is composed of things that were a biological origin such as food, animal, green and garden waste and by-product of agriculture, wood, paper towels and tea bags (WastNet, 2005).

WASTE AUDIT

I observed daily waste, which focused on organic waste in a day by taking pictures. The upper images show what I wasted. As you can see them, I produced food, paper, wood, tissue and tea bag waste. I threw them away in the general bins without thinking at UTS and the apartment too. However, during the research about organic waste, I found that UTS has ‘food organics’ green bin to make compost from food waste. Actually, I had to throw away the wastes to that bin, but I did not recognize and keep throwing away to the general bins so far. What is more, I realized that the time, energy and space are also wasted while I wasted these materials. The ‘waste’ I produced should be needed to recycle, compost or bury; and it would require the time, appropriate energy and enough space to operate these organic waste managements. This means that an increase of organic waste brings about an increase of wasted time, energy and space.

After I finished the waste audit, I wondered where my wastes go and how they end up. Therefore, I chose food waste of organic waste collected from the waste audit. I visualized the life cycle of banana peel from my food waste.

LIFE CYCLE

I needed to research how banana produces and how banana peel disposal works to create proper life cycle of banana peel. I visualized the life cycle based on my experience. The banana was from the banana tree at first, and banana is harvested and packed by the workers. Banana is transported to supermarket, and consumer purchased and ate it; and then, the banana peel went to the organic waste bin. There are diverse organic waste managements, but I threw it away at UTS bin. According to UTS cleans up page (2014), all food organic waste would be composted. Thus, the peel became compost, and it helped the banana tree grow well.

By researching composting process of the banana peel, I collected information are the effect of banana peel on compost, and other benefits of the peel to the environment. The banana peel adds calcium, magnesium, sulfur, phosphates, potassium and sodium in the compost pile. They help the organic materials grow healthy. Additionally, the peel makes the compost maintain water and fertilize the soil (Doran, San & Kaya 2003). Other benefit to the environment is removing metals from contaminated water because the banana peel includes nitrogen, sulfur and carboxylic acids. The acids are able to not only remove the toxic metals from the water, also make the better case than the existing expensive technological options. Moreover, it does not need any technical preparation, so it is very easy to do. It requires only dried banana peel (Allbarelli. et al 2011).

The waste audit and visualising the life cycle of food waste demonstrate wealth is from waste. Hence, it is time to consider about the alternative systems of organic waste management.

Hyunjoung You (Lia), 11550656

Reference

Albarelli, J. Q., Rabelo, R. B., Santos, D. T., Beppu, M. M. & Meireles, M. A. A. 2011, ‘Effects of Supercritical Carbon Dioxide on Waste Banana Peels for Heavy Metal Removal’, The Journal of Supercritical Fluids, vol.58, pp.343-351, viewed 08 June 2016, <http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.supflu.2011.07.014&gt;

Doran, I., San, B. & Kaya, Z. 2003, ‘The effects of compost prepared from waste material of banana plants on the nutrient contents of banana leaves’, Journal of environmental biology / Academy, viewed 07 June 2016, <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15248659&gt;

UTS, 2014, What goes in each bin?, viewed 06 June 2016, <http://www.uts.edu.au/staff/cleans-up/what-goes-each-bin&gt;

WasteNet, 2005, Organic Waste, viewed 06 June 2016, <http://www.wastenet.net.au/organic-waste.aspx&gt;

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