Wealth to Waste

waste to wealth presentation (4) Link to presentation.


Wealth to waste project, 3 visual communication students and 1 fashion student working on a transdisciplinary design brief, designing an organics waste recycling system at UTS.


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The research phase included reflecting on personal blog posts,reflecting on our attitudes towards our daily audits.

As a group we collectively agrees that we knew very little about the issues surrounding organic waste management when undertaking this project. To enrich and further our understanding as a group we collectively reflected on our individual research that took form of blog posts and a reflection undertaken of a daily audit of our organic waste.

other forms included

  • Mapping
  • Surveys
  • focus groups with students from the DAB.
  • analysing current systems in place.
  • Observations and interactions in which people undertaken when discarding food waste.
Collectively as a group we decided that we wanted to focus on students behaviour regarding waste.

What we concluded from the research phase, was that people are withdrawn from the process of discarding waste. We are apart of a throw-away society obsessed with over consumption and convenience in which we rely on our muscle memories, which presented the challenge and goal to change students in the DAB behaviours and actions around organic waste.

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Its our school we have the influence which makes us the students the core stake holders in this project.
Mapping the stake holders
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proposal for an interactive installation piece for the DAB community to interact with.


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focus on coffee grounds and disposable coffee cups.

Cafe in the DAB building makes around 1,000 coffees a day, and 900 of them are in takeaway cups in which only the lid can be recycled, in-which as a group none of us knew of this fact neither did and 100% of students surveyed in the DAB knew.

My personal collection of coffee grounds collected over a week in an organic waste audit


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Mock-up for installation

Our goal of our installation piece is the encourage the DAB community to think twice before throwing away, by using large typography will visually engage people interacting in the space as 39% of our brains are dedicated to visuals.


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Interactive installation to engage all senses to create a discussion around organic waste.
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In creating this installation we hope it will engage and educate the DAB community in the lack of understanding when it comes to organic waste management and change the behaviours of people surrounding waste.

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Blog D: Organic waste management proposal

previously I touched on the idea about muscle memory when a movement is repeated over time, a long-term muscle ,memory is created for that particular task, this allows for that particular task to be repeated without conscious effort. The process decreases the need for little or no attention what so ever but allows for maximum efficiency within the motor and memory systems.An example of this could be for example chopping or slicing food, placing food scraps into a garbage Bin Eg. a banana peel, which I believe is where we are going wrong in our fight against organic waste. As the mindless action of throwing away our waste away many of us students are not engaged in the actual process it is just a number of mindless movements in which we practice in our day cycle whilst at UTS. research found by food wise Australia food young Australians aged between 18-24 are among societies biggest wasters of food.

  •  UTS currently facilitate around 34,000 full-time students
  • 22 staff and student kitchens
  • 11 cafe’s

So how do we create an alternative system for UTS , in which create ‘wealth from waste’ , whilst considering our responses to our design decisions and the impact they have on society in our survival. As I discussed in my previous post in relation to design theorist Tony Fry who argues current practices of design are “de futuring”(Fry, 2008), in particular the impacts on the environment, we need to do this by having a ‘holistic’ approach and view to allow for a ‘strong’ level of prevention.

  • reduce
  • reuse
  • recycling
  • composting
  • recover
  • The least desirable action is food ending up in landfills

Reverse Vending machines;

Reverse vending machines also know as enviro-bank machines, works in the opposite way to a traditional vending machine where you receive the product (the waste), in which you place an empty water bottle and choose a reward for your recycling efforts. This allows for a more interactive approach I believe to the traditional disposable of waste, in which at its seems to be throwing our waste into either normal garbage Bin or a recycling bin in which can the to the risk of cross-contamination which has happened previously across the city of Sydney where recycling were rolled out across the city, unfortunately due to high levels of contamination it was made impossible to recycle the materials collected contamination it was made impossible to recycle the materials collected  the benefits of the enviro-bank machines is that they accept only items that can be recoiled which rejects anything else, and can hold up 3,00 containers before they need to be emptied. 

(EB, 2011).


“The UNSW determined that an RVM would increase recycling, reduce litter and the rewards would encourage the students to use the machine. The opportunity for the on-site takeaway shops and cafe’s to showcase their lunch special offers via the interactive LED touchscreen has worked well.interactive LED touchscreen”.(EB,2011).

I propose that this  idea of the Enviro-bank be extended further and be introduced into the UTS Sydney prescient. Through innovation with help of engineering students and universities a possible means of replacing/addition to the traditional waste bins that are already throughout the university.

Upgrade for garbage and recycling 

  • Green coloured bins for organic waste
  • Black coloured for recycling bins
  • clear signage of what can go in each garbage Bin
  • censors attached to reject what is deemed not ‘organic, or recyclable’

Reverse vending machine for organic waste 

place waste into specific holes compartments  creates allows students to think about the process of throwing away an item. of waste education is key if we want action taken

step 1. proposal of the Enviro-bank system to be introduced as well as the traditional garbage bins and recycling bins, have these reversed vending machines placed around the university campus in addition

step 2. Enviro-bank placed throughout UTS city campus, in all 11 cafe’s and throughout the 22 staff and student cafe’s.

step 3. Staff and students are educated on the importance of proper waste disposal, and the importance it plays allowing for a sustainable future along with the savings.

step 4. As part of the education process, an interactive app created to allow students to better educated on the Enviro- bank system,also the impacts of placing correct waste in correct slot. A mandatory education program set up to introduce the influx of new students that arrive each semester.

Enviro-bank system are able to place organic waste in designated labeled slots,censors detect un wanted materials and reject.

step 5. can break down organic waste and turn waste into compost on the spot for students to receive as reward.through a speed up process students can take away compost mixture.

step 6. compost mixture can be received in a biodegradable material, Hemp a sustainable material by being biodegradable, easily grown without the use of pesticides strong like nylon. Student can take away compost material for waste efforts.




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(EB, 2011).

how can this system be introduced Cecconi’s Flinders Lane?

As part of my research in part C, I investigated Cecconi’s Flinders Lane, have installed a closed loop organic unit into their restaurant in which 75 % of food waste is deposited in the unit per day, unloaded once a week and transported to the farm to use on their vegetable gardens, to grow new produce for the restaurant. I propose that through working with engineers to create a system that combines the aesthetic of waste separation  process of the Enviro-bank system with the technology of the closed loop organic unit that breaks down the 10 kg a days worth of organic material, this could lead to a possible in-house veggie garden to grow fresh produce, and reduction in trips to the family’s farm. Will save time in which staff spend sorting out waste as it is designed with specific entry points for specific food waste and will reject unwanted waste materials and reduce cross contamination from occurring in the restaurants.

  1.  Educate staff
  2. Introduce
  3. implementation  new technology

Through the use of technology, allow a garbage Bin into a source in which society interacts, in which will allow for change.








City Of Sydney. (2016). Recycling machine. [online] Available at: <http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au&gt;.(viewed 26 May. 2016).

City Of Sydney. (2016). Recycling machine. [online] Available at: <http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au&gt;.(viewed 8 Jun. 2016).

Closed Loop. (2013). Case study Cecconi’s Flinders Lane. [online] Available at: <http://www.closedloop.com.au/case-studies/Cecconi’s-flinders-lane>(viewed 26 May. 2016).

Closedloop.com.au. (2016). Closed Loop |. [online] Available at: <http://Closedloop.com.au&gt;. (viewed 26 May. 2016).


Enviro-bank. (2016). What is An Enviro-bank Reverse Vending Machine?. [online] Available at: <http://www.envirobank.com.au/reverse-vending-machine/&gt;.

Enviro-bank. (2016). What is An Enviro-bank Reverse Vending Machine?. [online] Available at: <http://www.envirobank.com.au/reverse-vending-machine/universities/&gt;.(viewed 26 May. 2016).




Blog post B: Data mapping methods

What is an audit, an official inspection of a company.  inspect examine survey look over  investigate assess appraise, evaluate, review analyse. An official inspection of a organisation’s for purpose of this particular instance it would to inspect an organisation’s organic Waste. By further informing my own understanding on the definition of what a Waste audit is, I was able to apply this to my own audit in which I conducted in part A, in which I conducted several observation exercises, in which I analysed humans interaction, with the given problem of organic Waste management, which I believe through the use of  Quantitative methods through the us of analysing small focus groups, and collecting data through a Qualitative  approach will help Government understand ‘Why’, and ‘How’, Government can resolve organic waste, and divert organic waste ending up in our land fills.Through my waste audit investigations through conducting small focus groups, and visual mind mapping exercise I was able to draw a conclusion that we rely on our ‘muscle memory’, meaning the ways in which we interact with our organic waste is pre determined by a series of repetitive movements in which after time we repeat without conscious effort.

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rough mind mapping of daily interaction and movements with organic  waste in the kitchen

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(LFHW, 2009).

‘Food Waste Avoidance Benchmark Study’,(2009)

On a state level the NSW Government conducted a study to collect data, in an aim to better understand;

  1. understand communities knowledge
  2. Attitudes
  3. Behaviours 

towards household  food waste across Australia, as part of the study the NSW government created an online survey (are a good source to gather large amounts of data) in which 1,200 households across NSW. From the results of the study conducted the NSW Government were able to estimate a ‘HOW’, much NSW households throw out each year which was $1,036 worth of food. The survey was conducted by residents 16 and older.The study “Represents the most comprehensive and up to date analysis of community knowledge, attitudes and behaviours conducted about food waste in NSW”. The findings from the research has been used to develop NSW Love Food Hate Waste program aims to minimise food wastage in the home.

The previous data was used by “Do something”!, to calculate the new national food waste figure of $8 billion”.


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(LFHW, 2009).

Design initiative specific projects or programs undertaken to achieve specific objectives in the near — term, such as to reduce cost increase efficiency for companies to help improve the companies overall culture, increase productivity,reduce organic waste (business dictionary). Stakeholders can affect or be by the organisation’s actions, objectives and policies.Some examples of key stakeholders are creditors, employees, government and its agencies owners shareholders suppliers, unions and the community from which the business draws its resources”.

Closed Loop 

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Closed Loop environmental solutions


closed loop describes their approach to a waste audit as a fundamental  tool in identification and prioritization, program design and program evaluation. they conduct these audits for organisation across diverse industries, from aviation to hospitality. through closed lops design initiatives the company is able to inform stakeholders  in these companies and give a  comprehensive analysis that can best inform the companies which enables these companies to make better business decisions and overall improve the organisations economic and environment impact.how do they do this

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Closed Loop are able to apply years of experience in waste and recycling industry, to the clients own data which enable closed loop to identify operational inefficiencies and allows for recommendations to be made that allow these significant improvements in deducing environmental impacts and financial savings made to the company.

  • they identify improvement of behave of clients but develop tools that empower these companies to be able to continually be able identify opportunities for themselves in terms of waste management.
  • through education

    Clients and their staff and suppliers on the  merits of resource management to enable total commitment to new ways in waste reduction initiatives,to unite team in the new processes to reach a common goal for sustainability.

  •  the waste audit

A waste audit provides quantified information about ‘waste’ material composition and location”.(Closed loop).





Closedloop.com.au. (2016). Closed Loop. [online] Available at: <http://Closedloop.com.au&gt;. [viewed 26 may. 2016].

Epa.nsw.gov.au. (2016). NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA). [online] Available at: <http://epa.nsw.gov.au&gt; [Accessed 26 May. 2016].

Food Waste Avoidance Benchmark Study At a glance. (2012). ed. Sydney, pp.1-2.[Accessed 09 Jun. 2016].


Foodwise.com.au. (2016). Home | FOOD-WISE. [online] Available at: <http://Foodwise.com.au&gt;. [Accessed 09 Jun. 2016].

Lovefoodhatewaste.nsw.gov.au. (2016). Home – Love Food Hate Waste. [online] Available at: <http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.nsw.gov.au&gt;. [Accessed 09 Jun. 2016].

Blog C: Organic waste management, going full circle

To further my understanding and form my own ideas on the current problems we face in regards to organic waste issues management, I investigated design theorist Tony Fry a key figure in the analysis behaviour surrounding environment and humans interaction with the environment. After reading Tony Fry’s confronting observations of the current state of our environment it has opened my eyes to the possibilities that designing through a sustainable practice could play in societies future and just how much we need to but it’s not just about reaching an end point, but Fry introduces the idea of “Sustain-ability”(Fry, 2012). Which without Fry argues will shorten the time of humanity.

According to Fry current designers are too involved in design of style and appearance and are not taking responsibility for the consequences of their designs. Many design ideas that are placed into production that are unsustainable, in which he argues will reduce humanities survival current practices in design are “de futuring “(Fry, 2008 113). If we allow our food to rot in landfills, it’s not composting, in fact, the decomposition of organic food waste producers the potent greenhouse gas methane which is 25 times more potent than the carbon pollution emitted from a car exhaust.

(Tony Fry, 2008).

 Closed loop journey to zero waste

closed loop helps with smaller and large-scale companies to reduce food wastage family owned business based in Melbourne, Sydney and London and take a holistic approach to achieving zero waste.Engineered with one aim in mind to divert resources from land fill

case studies;

  • KFC
  • Cecconi’s
  • Qantas
  • Griffith University
  • Barwon health
  • Heathrow Airport Limited

Cecconi’s Flinders Lane

who are they?

a family run business in which they own two  italian restaurant from bortolotto family in Melbourne, considered as one of Melbourne’s to italian restaurants, in which they pride themselves in using the freshest of ingredients that are sourced from local producers, including home-grown vegetable sourced from the family farm.In 2013 the aim of the restaurant was to “challenge of achieving a 90% recycling rate on all fresh and dried produce”.the goal to see reductions in waste bills, and reductions in waste collection the result 600kg of food waste diverted from landfills each week

how was this result achieved ?

the challenge raised the question how to dispose large amounts of waste that is produced on a daily basis in an “efficient, economic and sustainable way”.

Improve recycling rate by 90%.

  1.  waste audit
  2.  educate staff through introduction sessions, including the use of Closed Loop bin stickers for clear identification of the different waste streams.
  3.  implementation closed loop organic unit
  4. clear identification for different waste streams
  5. 75 % of food waste is deposited in the unit per day, unloaded once a week and transported to the farm to use on their vegetable gardens to grow new produce for the restaurant.

over night 10 kg of compost 3 yellow buckets each week 600 avoided from land fills from knowing the longevity of food items last life.

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(Closed Loop, 2013).

How was the result achieved;

  • waste audit, achieved through a Quantifying and mapping waste material streams.
  • resource management, managing everyday general waste and recycling services, monthly in voicing and reporting, and semi-annual service review and optimisation.
  • organic recycling
  • education
  • analysis and insight
  • communication

“it really is a closed loop its fantastic!” Maria Bortolotto owner”

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(Closed Loop, 2013).


partnered with KFC in a range of recycling and waste minimization initiatives and help them lead the way for waste management  in the ( QSR).

  • closed loop have made it their business to understand ours ti nas supply chain analyst, KFC
  • 47 percent increase in recycling rates
  • 2700 tonnes of CO2 saved in the first year, 2043 tones of cardboard and commingle diverted from landfills in 2012.
  • 600 stores nationwide
  • KFC Australia owns and operates 160 stores
  • remainder owned by community of 53 franchisees
  • 25,00 employees
  • 2 million customers each week second largest ( QSR) in Australia
  • “minimise the environmental impact of their business.
  • committed to invest in research, development and activities designed to reduce environmental impact
  • reducing waste to landfills
  • “closed loop manage the waste for over 350 KFC restaurants nationally”.
  • packaging
  • resource management
  • education
  • analysis and insight
  • communication
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(Closed Loop, 2012).






Closed Loop. (2013). Case study Cecconi’s Flinders Lane. [online] Available at: <http://www.closedloop.com.au/case-studies/Cecconi’s-flinders-lane&gt;.[viewed 8 Jun. 2016].

Closed Loop. (2012). Case study KFC. [online] Available at: <http://www.closedloop.com.au/case-study/kfc&gt;.[viewed 8 Jun. 2016].

Closedloop.com.au. (2016). Closed Loop |. [online] Available at: <http://Closedloop.com.au&gt;. [viewed 26 may. 2016].

Fry, T. 2012, Becoming human by design, Berg, London.

Fry, T. 2008, Design Futuring: Sustainability, Ethics and New Practice, Berg, London





Blog post A The Banana

Organic waste is an unavoidable by-product of many human activities,thorough out our day-to-day activities, So can my unavoidable waste actually be avoided. I have conducted an audit of my daily wastage habits in order to answer whether or not as humans have we become a ‘throw-away society’

By definition A waste audit is a process of analysing waste composition. An audit determines the proportions of different materials in a waste stream, their volume and weight, and the source of the waste. In order for me to interpret this definition into my own lifestyle, I decided to analysis the dumping ground in which the majority of my organic waste  will end up in a  garbage Bin located in the kitchen of my family’s home , in which being a communal space in which myself in the demographic of my early 20s, and my parents in their early 50s all share I found by reflecting on my families habits as well as my own, by watching my families interactions with the bin how did they physical interact with the bin were they withdrawn from the process,also up turning my garbage bin and sorting through the organic waste in which I found a lot of banana peels.

I found a lot of banana peels in fact I decided to audit all my bananas over a space of a week and decided to weigh these peels, on average I eat around 1.5 bananas a day.I found this out  whilst reflecting on an image I had taken of a banana from my days audit, in which on this particular day I had eaten two bananas. but the realisation in which came across whilst visually analysing images from audit was how little of the banana I was actually consuming, as every day repeated mindless actions of preparing my banana for consumption repeated these actions pealing skin of the banana chopping off the ends scraping out the brown imperfections until I had and warped the shape of my banana into an entire new shape, whilst believing that I had tricked myself into thinking that I had perfected my banana that it can now be consumed. The mindless actions of  scraping the skin,ends and  imperfect pieces not once was thought is given to what impact the pieces will have on land fills the only thought is if the banana will taste good and how will it be incorporated in my daily meal plan. I audited every banana I consumed over a space of a week.I started with a bunch of bananas that weighed 1.8 kilograms, by the end of the week  I was left with a pile of waste that weighed 1 kilogram, and i had enough left over pieces of bananas that made up an entire banana, that i was mindlessly throwing into landfills each week!

The starting bunch, my weekly average of banana’s in which I consume over a course of a week, this bunch weight 1.8kg.

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“peels use them, don’t lose them”(sustainable america ).

My weeks worth of Banana waste! with a weight of 1 kg, being a fashion student i like to work with large amounts of materials

So what is a banana?, is an edible fruit, botanically a berry, in which are a healthy and nutritious food containing potassium ,Vitamin C,vitamin B6, folate,niacin and riboflavin.They have a low GI rating and give a sustained energy boost. Bananas are Australia’s number one selling supermarket product not only out selling every other fruit and vegetable but also includes every other supermarket product,as a result on average more than 5 million bananas are eaten every day in Australia.

But more than 100,000 tonnes of Queensland bananas go to waste every year because the fruit does not meet cosmetic retail standards “bananas that don’t meet the grading overwhelming are put in a chopper and chopped into little pieces and are spread over the plantation as organic matter”(Tony Heridrich, 2010 ). Could this be a result by the fact most Australians have lost the direct connection to a time in which we  had a connection to somebody in the community who had a farm and understood farming was not an exact science and production of bananas are not made in a factory. Which poses the question why are we more obsessed with how the banana looks, rather than how it ends up, is because we become a throw away society a term used to describe societies overconsumption and excessive production of short-lived or disposable items.

“We live in a disposable society. It’s easier to throw things out than to fix them. We even give it a name we call it recycling (Neil LaBute).”

1 most banana growth happens 30 degrees south of the equator,with 95 of Australians banana production is in North Queensland other production areas are in South East Queensland, northern New south Wales, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

2 All fresh bananas available in Australia are grown in Australia-there are no fresh banana imports because of the disease threat 

3  Whilst harvest of bananas still process green, they travel long distances in refrigerated vehicles

4 To “ripening rooms” where they are exposed to ethylene gas

5 shipped to grocery stores

6 Purchased in our weekly grocery shop and transported to our homes, where 25% are thrown away and end up in landfills and “12% of a bananas weight is the peel”(Sustainable America, 2016 ).

7 Instead we could be using peels in a number of ways for example in compost as they add nutrition, unlike if they were to end up in landfills,the would help “omit the potent greenhouse gas methane that can pollute waterways”(EPA, 2015).

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Enough left banana waste to make a whole new banana!


Australian Banana Grower’s council. (2016). Australian Banana Grower’s council. [online] Available at: <http://abgc.org.au&gt;.[Accessed 26 May. 2016].

Epa.nsw.gov.au. (2016). NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA). [online] Available at: <http://epa.nsw.gov.au&gt; [Accessed 26 May. 2016].

Suez-environment.com. (2016). [online] Available at: <http://Suez-environment.com&gt;. [Accessed 8 Jun. 2016].

Sustainable America. (2016). Sustainable America. [online] Available at: <http://Sustainableamerica.org&gt;. [Accessed 26 May. 2016].

Wright, B. (2015). Mushables. [Image] Available at: <http://Wrightkitchen.com/prints&gt;.[Accessed 8 Jun. 2016].