Post A – Organic Waste Audit (24 hours)

My 24 Hour Audit

I conducted my audit surrounding a normal days food consumption. It is not uncommon for me to start the day with a light breakfast, store bought lunch, and home cooked dinner (dinner usually generating the most organic and general waste).

With Australians expelling $5.2 Billion in food wastage every year (Closed Loop, 2017), it is clear there is a major problem in our systems surrounding the management of organic food waste. After conducting my audit, I believe I am part of this problem. This exercise has encouraged me to better manage my waste output.

Despite my efforts to increase focus surrounding organic waste – Turner, B. (2014) “estimates that between 10 and 40 per cent of the world’s total food production is lost at some stage in the food system from production to consumption”. I can certainly see as to how I am personally responsible, aiding the above figures through my own neglect surrounding organic waste.   

Breakfast:

Starting the day, I really eat a large meal – sometimes skipping breakfast entirely.

Coffee – I make a coffee at home, using Nespresso coffee pods. There is little organic waste in this process. However we collect, freeze, and store the left over pods to be returned to the Nespresso store. The coffee and pods are repurposed and disposed off according to their company’s recycling policy. Although this process is invisible to the consumer, you must have faith that the waste is disposed of correctly.

Mandarin – Most mornings I will have fruit. In this case the mandarin’s peel is left over as organic waste. As I am travelling in the morning, I disposed of the peel into general waste. I feel if I had the option to dispose of my waste properly, I would do so. However, under the circumstances I had to use a general waste bin.

Lunch:

On the day of my audit I was travelling and did not preparer my lunch at home – I had take away sushi, this is a common lunch option for me.

Pre-packaged sushi – The resulting food waste after completing my meal was minimal, I consumed all components of the meal. However, as the meal was purchased from a store, their waste management systems were not seen. Although the store would want to minimise waste to increase profit, I feel that there would be a large amount of both organic and general waste.

Dinner:

Dinner (unsurprisingly) generates the most organic waste of all my daily meals. I live with three adults. Our meals are usually home cooked, adjusted to the needs of our house hold. There is little wastage after the meal. However, I noticed during the cooking process much organic waste is produced.

Pork Chops (x6) – The pork was consumed entirely, aside from the bones. We have no formal composting/food waste systems. However, we do have two family dogs. The bones were passed onto our dogs, I feel this appropriately deals with our organic waste.

Fried Rice with Bok Choy – This dish resulted in the most organic waste. We had leftover food that was kept to be eaten later. Although this did minimise wastage, there was still waste disposed of during the cooking process. We do not have a council issued organic waste system, this saw the waste being mixed into our general rubbish bin. I’m now seeing that we are part of a much larger problem.

Onion (x2) – Another culprit causing organic waste. The onion accompanied our dish. Although a large amount of the product (skin, core and unused vegetable) found its way into the general waste. Taking the time to audit and evaluate our household waste, it has become clear that we need to implement some system to reduce harm.

Snacks:

Muesli BarNo organic waste was produced, only general rubbish. However, trying to deconstruct how the pre-packaged bar was made is difficult. One would assume there is a large wastage factor involved.

Coca-cola Soft Drink – Again, no organic waste. I disposed of the aluminium can in the correct waste bin, hopefully the can will be reused/repurposed. 

Audit Written Notes

UTS Audit

Looking at the style of the food served at UTS’s book launch (and the context in which the food was consumed), I feel minimising wastage and harm were of high priority. The serving methods of the food aimed to have minimal dependence on packaging and serving utensils. The food encouraged guests to use their hands, physically interacting with the dishes.

Although it was hard to get a real glimpse of how the canapés and dips were produced and disposed of, I had a strong sense that UTS would be doing all they could to reduce organic and general waste.

Due to the strong focus on sustainability and eco-friendly waste management (UTS waste compactor) I feel the organic waste was dealt with appropriately.

References

Turner, B, 2014. Food waste, intimacy and compost: The stirrings of a new ecology?. Journal of Media Arts Culture, [Online]. 11, 1. Available at: http://scan.net.au/scn/journal/vol11number1/Bethaney-Turner.html [Accessed 3 April 2017].

Closed Loop. 2017. Waste Audit. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.closedloop.com.au/products-and-services/waste-audit. [Accessed 3 April 2017].

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