Blog post D. Alternative system

Alternative system for unit in the city

From blog post C, the organic waste management in my unit that I investigated needed to refine and improve. City of Sydney (2013) states that the house in the city has a general, recycling bin and an optional service for garden organics. The house would have space to compost their food waste. Whereas, the unit in the city has only two types of bins: a general and a mixed recycling bin. Besides, it does not normally have the backyard like the house to use composting method. Thus, I am going to propose the alternative system for unit in the city rather than house in the city.

My proposal is called ‘pay as you trash’ management in South Korea. South Korea government introduced a volume-based food waste fee system in 2010 (Asia Today 2013). The old waste management was that the resident paid same flat rate for disposal; thus, they would throw their food waste away without any thinking (Borowiec, Gumbel & Orange 2014). However, after operating pay-by-weight food waste management, it brought about over 20 percentage of food waste reduction (Asia Today 2013). Therefore, I believe that this management is most appropriate to the unit in the city to operate. Besides, this system requires placing only the separate food waste bin, so we do not need huge space to use this management.

RFID-Food-Waste-Bin

Sk Telecom, Korea’s Largest Wireless Carrier, has designed RFID food waste bins with equipment that will weigh food waste to the nearest gram. Photo by Kim Gyong Ho / jejuweekly.com

The machine in the picture is RFID (Radio frequency identification) food waste bin. Asia today describes the instruction is

When users tap a card with their personal RFID tag over a reader on a specially designed food waste recycling bin, the bin’s lid will automatically open. Waste discarded into the bin is then automatically weighed and recorded under the user’s account. The user is billed monthly based on the total weight of dumped food waste for the said month (2013, Para. 18).

This charging system might be drastic management to people; however, it might be the most effective way that makes people reduce their food waste. If the current waste management changes to ‘pay as you trash’ management in our unit, the residents would start to pay more attention to how much food waste they produce and try to reduce food waste as much as they can do. In addition to, they might research about the methods, which helps to reduce their food waste by themselves. This means that pay-by-weight food waste management is not only for reduction food waste, also for aiming at raising awareness on food waste (Innovations seeds, n.d.).

Hyunjoung You (Lia), 11550656

Reference

Asia Today, 2013, ‘South Korea’s Food Waste Solution: You Waste, You Pay’, viewed 12 June 2016, <http://www.asiatoday.com/pressrelease/south-koreas-food-waste-solution-you-waste-you-pay&gt;

Borowiec, S., Gumbel, A. & Orange, R., 2014, ‘Food waste around the world’, the guardian, viewed 13 June 2016, <http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/mar/27/food-waste-around-world&gt;

City of Sydney, 2013, Collection days and bins, viewed 11 June 2016, <http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/live/waste-and-recycling/collection-days-and-bins&gt;

Innovations seeds, n.d., South Korea’s Food Waste Reduction Policies, viewed 13 June 2016, <http://www.innovationseeds.eu/Policy-Library/Core-Articles/South-KoreaS-Food-Waste-Reduction-Policies.kl&gt;

Mazzoni, M., 2013, South Korea Begins Charging Residents for Food Waste, viewed 13 June 2016, <http://earth911.com/food/south-korea-charging-for-food-waste/&gt;

Blog post C. Literature review and organic waste management

Literature review of organic waste management 

By researching organic waste for blog post A and B, I realized how important organic waste management is. However, in current, there are lots of organic waste management does not operate properly. I can give the example is based on my experience. My old unit and current apartment contain only two kinds of bins: general and recycling bin, and it is very common situation.

2BINS-01

(I took the pictures of my current apartment garbage section.)

Therefore, people normally throw away paper, cardboard or plastic stuff in the recycling bin, and the rest of their garbage goes in the general bin. However, this basic management would have a negative impact on the environment. Even though the workers sort out organic waste from the general bin, they cannot ensure organic waste does not send to the landfill. It does not mean only we lose the resources. According to Environment Victoria (n.d.), buried organic waste in landfill undergoes anaerobic decomposition due to the lack of oxygen and produces methane. When it is released into the atmosphere, methane is 20 times more damaging as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. However, methane is still a significant resource. As I already mentioned about food waste to renewable energy in Post B, we can make better cases if we create wiser organic waste management. What is more, it is our duty that we follow the management properly to reduce organic waste. If people do not act what the management would like to, there will be no improvements at all. Therefore, before we set up right management, the initial step is that people should be aware of the importance of organic waste management.

Making app would be appropriate example that let especially the designer being conscious of the significance of organic waste management. Nike (2013) described that Making ranks materials used in apparel based on four environmental impact areas: water, chemistry, energy and waste. Therefore, the designers can compare the materials, and recognize which materials are more sustainable; so, the designer can make better materials choices in the initial stages to generate better cases for consumers and the planet. The app required the secondary sources to give exact data of the materials to the designer, In addition to, Nike tested Making app with the designers at London College of Fashion over a period of 18 months to release in real world (Pritchard 2013).

This application might not be relevant example completely to show what their waste management is. However, I think that this app shows what we need to do as designers for organic waste. People produce all of the waste, and it is totally up to them whether the waste changes to wealth or not. Hence, we as designers consider about the lifecycle of our design when we are in initial stage; thus, it would bring about the reduction of organic waste. We also have the responsibility to create better organic waste management, which makes people being aware of the organic waste problem and motivate them to take action for organic waste management.

Hyunjoung You (Lia), 11550656

Reference

Environment Victoria, n.d., Organic waste, viewed 11 June 2016, <http://environmentvictoria.org.au/content/organic-waste&gt;

Nike, 2014, Making app adds new features for sustainable design, viewed 09 June 2016, <http://news.nike.com/news/making-app-adds-new-features-for-sustainable-design&gt;

Nike Better World, 2013, MAKING Matters, YouTube, viewed 09 June 2016, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXPuuwAhtQo&gt;

Pritchard, O., 2013, Does Nike’s new Making app place sustainability at the forefront of design, viewed 09 June 2016, <http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/nike-making-app-sustainability-design&gt;

Blog post B. Data methods

Data methods

Waste audit 

From blog post A, I used waste audit as one of data collected method to research organic waste. My daily waste audit was conducted roughly, but it still brought about my waste stream and the thing that I should consider about to solve problem from the waste as a designer. This means that waste audit is essential first step to investigate organic waste; therefore, many organizations and institutions conducted waste audit to investigate organic waste properly.

FOOD WASTE AUDIT-05

FOOD WASTE AUDIT-06

https://www.wpi.edu/Images/CMS/Sustainability/2012WAResults.pdf

This is one of examples that use waste audit as data method. The members of the Green team and other volunteers at WPI sorted the waste into proper bins from six buildings on campus in 2012, America Recycles Day. They divided into ten categories and compile statistics like the ‘food’ waste chart. They drew appropriate recommendations to current waste management through the waste audit. Besides, Bourke (2012) reported that they conducted the waste audit in 2011, and also planned to do waste audit in 2013. Thus, conducting the waste audit in each year provides them with the improvements that compare to old waste audit result and better suggestions for waste management.

Experiment / Study 

US EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) generated the plans for food waste based on their study. According to EPA,

Anaerobic digestion of food waste has approximately three times the methane production potential by volume than municipal wastewater solids. The study found that the methane production potential of biosolids was 120 m3 gas/ton and food waste around 367 m3 gas/ton. Additionally, anaerobically digesting 100 tons of food waste per day, five days a week, provides sufficient power for approximately 1,000 homes (2016, para5).

They not only proved that food waste becomes a valuable energy, also proposed appropriate management using the key finding of a study. What is more, they added the chart supports their study and organic waste management.

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 5.26.52 am

This is the supporting chart demonstrates using food waste for the management is more effective way. As you can see their process, we can find that EPA generates from the food waste problem to reasonable organic waste management. I believe that the way that EPA uses data methods to investigate organic waste is wiser for people and planet.

Hyunjoung You (Lia), 11550656

Reference

Bourke, A., 2012, Waste Audit Results, viewed 08 June 2016, <https://www.wpi.edu/Images/CMS/Sustainability/2012WAResults.pdf&gt;

United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2016, EBMUD’s Study on Anaerobically Digesting Food Waste, EPA, viewed 11 June 2016, <https://www3.epa.gov/region9/waste/features/foodtoenergy/ebmud-study.html&gt;

United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2016, Turing Food Waste into Energy at the East Bay Municipal Utility District: Investigating the Anaerobic Digestion Process to Recycle Post-Consumer Food Waste, viewed 11 June 2016, < https://static1.squarespace.com/static/54806478e4b0dc44e1698e88/t/54a1a62ee4b038053fefba02/1419879982731/EBMUDCaseStudy-CoDigestion-May12.pdf&gt;

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;