Post D

Developing and nations do not have the appropriate framework or authoritative body to cope with their organic waste streams. Thus, waste organic becomes the responsibly of local municipalities through a diverse range of coexisting subsystems this is shown through the local lens of China. Developed countries, who have the infrastructure, resources and technologies to achieve large-scale organic waste reduction are challenged by the complexities of the system and subsystems in which the organic waste stream operate.

China is an ideal case study where the separation between municipal and state is far greater because of an underlying neglect of a state-wide waste management plan. This creates a vast need for organic waste management on the local level; meaning other mechanisms that involve individual actors to process local waste need to be employed. Chinese population growth has coincided with the vast expansion of their economy. There has been the development of a sizeable middle-class which contributes to China’s ever increasing waste production.This combined with urban expansion has also furthered an unprecedented increase in the amount of solid and organic waste. To combat the ever-expanding gap in a rapidly developing society an ‘informal’ sub system has been created, comprising of individual agents whom deal with waste management in the ‘informal sector’ within “all levels and at every stage of the waste management stream”(D. Zhang et al. 2011).  Chinas wast management system deals predominantly with “informal” sector, with “twice as many people in the informal sector as those in the formal sector (World Bank, 2005).” Displaying that with out the appropriate frame work it becomes the responsibility of individual agents and municipalities to process their organic waste.


Approximately 30% of the generated MSW was not collected in 2006 (see Fig. 1) (D. Zhang et al. 2011)

Reducing food waste losses is attracting growing public and international attention among developed countries, and is becoming largely excepted to “contribute to abating interlinked sustainability challenges” including “food security, climate change, and water shortage”. Organic waste, or the clever reuse and distribution of it, is a testament to a system’s ability understand complex systems and communicate effectively and between governing bodies and stakeholders.

Actions to improve organic waste reduction need to be tailor made to suit the complex system it operates within. As the food supply chain becomes increasingly complex, communication and transparency are key in establishing collaborations to combat the issue. differing societies are challenged by differing systems and subsystems both for obtaining and distributing food and the disposal or processing of the organic waste it creates. (as seen in fig. 2)

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south Korea’s government successfully understood the complexities of their organic waste stream through the ‘Food Waste-to-Resource Plan’ in 1998 which was established to take “comprehensive measures to reduce discharge of food waste by more than 10% and recycle more than 60% of the discharged food waste as resources”(M. Bagherzadeh et al. 2014) through the introduction of green bins for commercial and residential use. later paired with the  ‘Enforcement Decree of the Waste Control Act’ ( 2004) which made it mandatory for food waste processing facilities to undergo regular inspections and report the status of processed organic waste. as well as new regulations surrounding the installation of new facilities. as a result, “95.3% of food waste generated (12 905 ton/day) was recycled as animal feed and compost in 2011.”(M. Bagherzadeh et al. 2014).

With such promising results from previous policies, South Korea’s government decided to go ahead with the ‘Master Plan for Food Waste Reduction'(2010) a new policy that further pushed for greater food waste goals and its correlation to the green growth sector. The policy’s main goal was to introduce a “volume-based food waste fee system” where the “levy is borne by dischargers”(M. Bagherzadeh et al. 2014) of all 114 local governments in urban areas. The government Trialled a RFID system to measure food waste in bins through a piloted program in 2012 of “490 000 households” and “recorded an on average 25% reduction in food waste”(M. Bagherzadeh et al. 2014). such reductions in organic waste are a testament to a system’s ability understand and communicate effectively and between governing bodies and stakeholders.

Developing nations are unable to achieve widespread organic waste reduction because they lack the necessary framework and authoritative body instead it is up to individual agents and municipalities to manage their own waste streams as seen in China. Developed nations such as  South Korea show how through effective communication and the appropriate infrastructure, resources and technology large-scale organic waste reduction is achievable.


J. Gustavsson, C. Cederberg, 2011, Global Food Losses and Food Waste, viewed June 20 2017, <>

D. Zhang, S. Tan, R. Gersberg, ‘Municipal solid waste management in China: Status, problems and challenges’, Journal of Environmental Management, vol 91, issue 8, viewed 20 june 2017 <>

2005, ‘World BankWaste Management in China: Issues and Recommendations’, Urban Development Working Papers, East Asia Infrastructure Department.

M. Bagherzadeh, M. Inamura and H. Jeong (2014), ‘Food Waste Along the Food Chain’, OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papers, No. 71, pp. 13- 15, viewed 20 June 2017,  <>



Post C


A lack of understanding of the UTS waste system discourages the student body to participate and be educated in better practices surrounding waste segregation.

Enable the Fun Theory to educate the UTS student body to achieve better practices surrounding waste segregation, through an adaptable event stall that works within existing UTS events and expos, targeting the UTS student body with the aim of educating better practice of food waste segregation, through fun and adaptable games.


Promote Waste Management Education through ‘For Purpose’ initiative and in an event store

  • That is able to flexibly integrate and work with existing UTS events/initiative/expos
  • That  educates UTS student body and faculty about food waste segregation and management through games, apps, booth activities


Screen Shot 2017-06-19 at 11.41.13 PM.pnginterview 1. Seb Crawford (uts green)

through Interviews with Seb Crawford we were able to explore and understand previous initiatives uts had taken to reduce its food waste, with a primary focus on education and awareness surrounding food waste management.  Seb informed us that “Most of the education happened during the rollout of the food waste stream under the branding of “UTS Cleans Up” in 2015. ‘UTS cleans up’ was an initiative that saw the introduction of a one bin system paired with a piloted food dehydrator. Communication surrounding ‘uts clean up’ came in the form of stickers attached to the bins explaining that all waste was appropriately segregated off sight.

Seb also informed us that “The food waste system at UTS is fairly new… they are still in the test phase we’ve done little comms and education around them so far”.  UTS has seen a great improvement in waste management over the past five years but there still seems to be a lack of understanding and engagement on a whole from the student body. We hypothesised that this lack of understanding Lead to the improper use of bins and greater contamination levels. As a group, we could see this from our own personal experiences but in order to prove our thoughts, a general student survey was conducted.

Surveys: UTS Student body

After analysing the information given to us by Seb it was still unclear how much of the ‘UTS cleans up’ communications were successful in educating the student body about UTS’ waste practices. Our student survey targeted a small group of (46 participants) over a range of disciplines and year groups targeting their understanding of the uts food waste stream and if they had come in contact with any educational material surrounding it. The results suggested 92% of students surveyed had a poor understanding of the food waste management process with a further 80% receiving a poor education surrounding food waste management at UTS.

After analyzing the data we concluded that a poor understanding of UTS’ food waste management practices led to an underlying negligence and confusion that could contribute to poor waste segregation and a lack of initiative from the student body. It also showed the complexities of communicating to a wide audience from differing backgrounds who all share differing ideas surrounding waste management.

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Interview #2: Simone Soeters (Batyr@UTS)

Batyr@UTS is a non for profit organisation that aims raises awareness for mental health issues within the UTS campus. Batyr has established an on-campus presence through student involvement and leadership, engaging the university community through quality programs and workshops. Batyr targets uts events with stalls and online programs that aims to educate and encourage the student body to engage in open conversations surrounding mental health issues. Through such events they’re able to reach out and create the personal connections necessary to help a wide audience. Their annual report ‘batyr impact report’  shows the sucess of their program, university students were the most engaged, with 88.4% reporting that they were either engaged or very engaged”(Batyr 2016 impact report). Batyr was a great example of a very successful organisation that engages and empowered the student body tackling stigma and issues surrounding mental health. Batyr achieves this through direct personal contact, utilising uts events and online programs.

literature reviews

  “Waste Education and Awareness Strategy” Procedia- Social and Behavioural Science

This text calls for higher level of education surrounding waste management with a particularly concerning for young students highlighting the importance of education in creating social or political change. The paper surveyed 591 university students with 40% having negative attitudes surrounding waste management “suggest(ing) that a carefully through-out waste education and awareness strategy should be developed in order to change students’ habits and behavior and traditions.”(Waste Education and Awareness Strategy (Procedia). Thus highlighting the importance of connecting with students enabling change through education and early intervention.

“Empowering education” Shor, I.

Empowering education critically analyses the responsibility of educational institutions to not just teach the course material but also embed good social practices. It highlights that through education students are empowered by good social practices and will help to change social trends in the future “Empowering education is oriented to self-transformation and social change”. (Shor 1992, p. 188).

Fun theory

The Fun Theory is a concept that strives to implement new ideas or resolve a change in values, by means of initiatives and activities that are considered ‘fun’ or ‘engaging’ to the audience.

Steep Analysis

Steep analysis looks at the impact of the project on a broader scale, analysing systems that it touches and is integrated into. These are (social, technological, environmental, economic and political).

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Boundary mapping:

Mapping the possible boundaries of the project allowed for an in-depth view and scope of the project.

Screen Shot 2017-06-19 at 11.41.23 PM Continue reading “Post C”

Post B: Caddy / Reflection

The caddy project was a head-on approach to inter-disciplinary design, merging the skill sets and ways of thinking about problems across multiple design fields. It gave us the ability to view the issue with a much broader scope and understand the problems and challenged us as a group to come up with a transdisciplinary solution. Our group as whole meshed well, we all saw the problem in differing ways but were able to negotiate an outcome and distribution of work, that played to everyone’s strengths. Like Ulrich we were constantly challenged by the observations and perspectives from different disciplines, backgrounds and personal experiences with the system but this conflict led to a greater mutual understanding of the issue.

“The immediate goal of a CSH evaluation is to elaborate multiple perspectives on a given situation, but the broader aim is to share these perspectives and thereby cut down on actors ‘talking past’ each other by promoting mutual understanding.” (Ulrich, W.  Reflective Practice in the Civil Society: The contribution of critically systemic thinking, 2010)

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working with a real client was a great opportunity to understand the way other governing bodies framed the food waste problem. it brought forth the magnitude of differing prospectives surrounding the issue and the realization that there was no one solution but an undefined number of outcomes that could lead to a better more sustainable future. to fully understand the problem we had to think about the system in which waste management operated and determine wich subsystems were involved. this enabled us to gain an understanding of the viewpoints of different governing bodies and their motives.

Our team set a group charter and framework to work within focusing on design thinking rather than analytical or aesthetic approaches. the outline focused on clarity, simplicity, affordability and practicality. through these boundaries, we were able to negotiate through possible solutions and find what we felt best fit the solution. This transcended through our approach of the caddy and instructions focusing on small decisions that we felt would make a large impact. Such as the choice not to use color in our instructions sheet and testing the minimum amount of paper needed in the caddy liner to keep contamination at a minimum. We focused on the communications and readability of the information sheet keeping words to a minimum with easy to read infographics.

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Through working with governing agencies on such a project it becomes apparent that the small changes or adaptions in systems can create a larger social or political change in the way people think about an issue. using design thinking to enable a transdisciplinary solution we were able to chip at incredibly complex issue that spans a multitude of systems and subsystems that are constantly changing.



n.a. ‘Critical System Heuristics’, Critical System Heuristics | Better Evaluation, <; Accessed 10 May 2017.

Ulrich, W. (2000). Reflective practice in the civil society: the contribution of critically systemic thinking. Reflective Practice 1, no. 2: 247-268.



Post A: One day waste audit

Firstly to gain a better understanding of my waste ill show you how we acquire our food in the first place. I share a house with 5 others, because of this we have shared food and individual food. Our shared food come weekly from Flemington markets as part of our local vegetable co-op this consists of a mixed seasonal fruit and vegetables. The other individual food comes from surrounding shops and supermarkets. This sums up the potential tactile waste, there is also the unseen waste and externalities such as the water used to wash & grow produce, fertilizers and carbon emissions in transportation, conversations, and ideas gained by sharing food and meals just to name a few.


My food audit took place on Tuesday the 5 of April. This is an accurate snapshot of a typical day. The majority of the waste is either food scraps or recyclable packaging with only a small amount fit for garbage. this highlighted the potential for mass reduction of waste going to landfill, with more than fifty percent of our audited waste being organic. Sadly the Sydney city council is yet to support and provide an organic waste bin. it was only upon gathering and separating my organic waste from general waste that I realised how much of an impact organic waste could make on a large scale.

through our local vegetable co-op and our trips to Flemington markets, my housemates and I have started to gain a better understanding of the food we eat and of the “ecological mesh”  that we live within (Turner, 2014). this connection was made through the human relationships made with farmers at market stalls, and the tactility of feeling and smelling fruit or vegetables to see if there ripe. it is through such connections that I have started to understand the ecological mesh that encompasses us (Turner, 2014).


Canape Audit

On Wednesday the 22nd of March as a class we attended a book launch and 20th Anniversary for the Institute of Sustainable Futures function. we were given the task to document and audit the function. The food and drinks served at the function were all vegan and presented to look like vegetables grown out of the ground. I think it’s important to note that this display was designed to inform the guests about vegan alternatives and connect the guests to the theme of organics which I feel it succeeded in, as most conversation surrounded the food the presentation of the food. Through the auditing process, it became transparent how much energy goes into a small function from the ingredients that came from across the state to transport, labor, waste and the transfer of information. I initially tried to weigh the positive effects such as information shared, conversations and experiences, the learning gained by the students and guests with the negative consumption, waste and carbon value. it quickly became apparent there was no way of measuring this.



Unkown, 2016, ‘Waste Management – City of Sydney.’, Waste Management – City of Sydney, CorporateName: City of Sydney, Accessed 05 Apr. 2017.

Turner, B, 2014, ‘Food waste, initmacy and compast: the stirrings of a new ecology?’, Journal of media arts culture, vol 11, no 1, pp 1- 9