POST D : Literature Review

UC Davis university is amongst one of the top green universities in the world. Following is a literature review of their food waste management system and practices. Lastly, the specific factors that were addressed by this university to achieve results.

The UC Davis university consists of dining services just like our “underground cafe” at UTS. They aim to achieve zero-waste by 2020 by leading the campus community in reducing land-fill bound waste by composting,recycling and reusing while reducing and reusing consumption of water,energy,fuel and natural resources.

Food Recovery Hierarchy

The above image is a tool to address issues within food waste management. The top levels of the hierarchy are the best ways to prevent and divert wasted food, as they create the maximum benefits for the the eco-system.

This tool is being implemented not only by United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) but multiple Agencies around the world, including Sydney.

Actions taken by UC University


Food Recovery Hiearchy,, viewed 1 June 2017

Just Ask

The following program provides the guests, the option of customisation of their meals, students are encouraged to request alterations from chef as well as signage is posted to remind the students that they can ask for a dish without sides, in half proportion or without a bun. This also encourages the students to request their dish in the same manner as to how they would prefer to be served at home.

Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 12.34.26 pm
Just Ask,, viewed 1 June 2017

The program above provides an opportunity for students dining common areas to sample a plated entree or soup before taking an entire serving of food. Try-a-taste helped to reduce 40% food waste reduction when it initially started. Surveys confirmed that students really enjoyed try-a-taste and it has led to greater satisfaction amongst students

“Love Food, Don’t Waste” Audits

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Food Waste Audit Winter 2017,, viewed 1 June 2017

Each quarter, the university dining services holds a waste audit in which a team of UC Davis students and Dining Services’ employees work together to collect, sort and weigh dining guests meals at each of the three dining facilities. As the guests come to return their dishes, they are asked to sort their waste into categories such as 

  1. 1.Edible food waste (coleslaw or a bread stick”,
  2. Inedible food waste (corn cob or banana peel)
  3. Liquid Waste ( any liquids)
  4. Napkin Waste

Research audits reveleaed that food waste average decreased by 30%, from 2.31 oz/person in Fall 2012 to 1.6oz/person in Spring 2015.

The following program establishes a network that collects and donates dining commons over-produced food to local community members in need.  This program was started in collaboration with dining service chefs, sous chefs, cooks and others. UC Davis Dining Services changed around 1262.flbs of food waste to food recovery via this service.


Sustainability Goals UCDAVID,, viewed 1 June 2017

Audit Winter Report 2017,, viewed 1 June 2017


One thought on “POST D : Literature Review”

  1. I went on exchange to the USA last year and noticed that their organic waste management is much more advanced than ours. I suppose they cater to a majority of their students taking residence on campus whereas the most part of Australian universities are commuters… Overall they have a very efficient system that we should look into implementing across our own food services around the country.


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