Post A: One day Waste Audit

Organic waste is one of the largest components of the waste stream. The organic waste is composed of waste of a biological origin such as paper and cardboard (plant based material), food, green and garden waste, animal waste and food waste (Environment victoria).

If we want reduce waste, an effective waste reduction program must be based on current and accurate information on the quantity and composition of the waste stream. Therefore, the first step is a “waste audit”.

In order to further understand how much material will be wasted on one day, I have sorted items in my bins and conducted a waste audit of all the “waste” I produced, using a pie chart and photos. It was a lot of waste. The photos below show the waste that was in my bins after one day, which can be used to audit the waste I produced. Through the audit result, I found there are a lot of materials that were wasted in one day, and the organic waste is the main waste in my daily life.

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As you can see in the pie chart below, all the waste is divided into different types: organics, papers, liquids, mixed containers and soft plastics. In the pie chart, organic waste and waste of ordinary paper created 3/4 of the total amount of waste, with the organic waste achieving about 50% of the total amount.

Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 9.09.07 PM

However, some of the organic wastes are sent to landfill, and burying organic waste in landfill is a serious problem that the community has yet to realize. I have picked an element of organic waste, which is eggshell, to explore its life cycle (see illustration below). I have explored the eggshell’s life cycle as a visual drawing that illustrates its formation and end.

DSC01740 copy

Some of the eggshells are discarded as waste, which is not only a waste of resources, but also pollutes the environment. Additionally, eggshells include 83 – 85% calcium carbonate, 15 – 17% protein, but the lead (Pb), and arsenic (As) content is extremely low, less than 1PPM (Hunton 2005). So discarded eggshells can be used in the production of fertilizer. The abundant calcium in the eggshells will provide rich nutrients to the soil and promote the healthy plant growth. It can bring great benefits to the environment. On the other hand, it can also be used to make food preservatives, which will reap economic benefits.

As awareness of the landfill problem grows, some organic waste treatment facilities and ideas such as green “Alternative waste treatment­­­” and composting are becoming more and more effective. I believe that the future green treatment organizations will definitely replace burying organic waste landfill.

(City of Sydney 2014)


City of Sydney 2014, Zero Waste—it’s the circle of life, Youtube, viewed 8 June 2016, < >


Environment victoria, Learn act give share, organic waste, viewed 8 June 2016, <>.


Hunton,P., 2005, ‘Research on eggshell structure and quality: An historical overview’, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 67-71


Schroeder, S. 2016, ‘Waste audits : the dirty work of office sustainability ‘, Sustainable design for the built environment blog, 25 February 2016, viewed 8 June 2016, <>.


Wastenet, organic waste, viewed 8 June 2016, <>.


Post D: Alternative waste manage system for Zoo Victoria

An alternative plan could be produced for Zoo Victoria to manage organic waste more effectively in order to achieve the goal of “zero waste” by 2019.

They already have effective ways to manage their organic waste such as composting, worm farming, reusable goods and public place recycling, but there is still one alternative they could implement: a fermentation process. Cows, sheep and other ruminants are thought to be responsible for around one-fifth of global methane production, but the precise amount has proved difficult to quantify.

In most zoos, animal waste occupies 50% of the organic waste. Therefore, animal dung should also be properly treated and used to its greatest value. The Tama Zoological Park Manager has indicated that methane produced by the fermentation of animal manure can avoid environmental pollution and be used for the processing of bio fuels (Arita 2003). So the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has recently provided a plan to recycle animal dung, which can also cut disposal costs and save on the use of fossil fuels (Arita 2003). In order to achieve this goal and help Tama Zoological Park become Japan’s first zoo to recycle animal dung as methane energy, they built a methane experimental processing plant in 2005. It is a big project and was expensive.

Instead of this method, I propose the building of small individual underground methane tanks, which can be applied in every zoo. (see image below)

biogas_fixed_dome_illustration.jpg( Biogas)

After this, they should create specific scale Underground methane tanks under the zoo fecal treatment area. Compare the methane underground system with compost made, the built methane can reduce cost and bring the greatest benefit to the zoo.

Every day the staff store the collected organic waste into the underground methane tank through the pipeline in the fecal treatment area. Then after a period of fermentation, the methane that is produced by the underground methane tanks is used to provide the zoo’s entire electricity system and the gas for the restaurant’s cooking. Likewise, Hiroshima University professor Naomichi Nishio, who chaired the Metropolitan Government’s Biomass Project Selection Committee, has pointed out that the technology for producing methane from organic waste has reached a practical stage (Thomas Klasson& Nhuan (John) P 2003). It can help Zoo Victoria cut the cost of disposing dung by recycling the waste.

1._How_to_start_a_biogas_production_business_in_africa_2(Iwuoha 2014)










(Iwuoha 2014)

Elephant and rhinoceros dung was used to investigate the feasibility of generating methane. Based on the amount of dung generated at the Knoxville Zoo, it is estimated that two standard garden grills could be operated using the gas from a digester treating 20 metric tons of herbivore dung per week (Thomas Klasson& Nhuan (John) P 2003).

I believe this system will provide “Zoo Victoria” a better waste management alternative.



Arita, E. 2003, ‘Biomass plant to recycle zoo’s animal waste now a dung deal’, The Japan Times, 12 November, viewed 12 on June 2016, <>

‘Biogas’, Ashden post, viewed 12 on June, < >

GBE Factory 2014, Organic waste recycling and energy recovery in Italy, Youtube, viewed 12 on June 2016, < >

Iwuoha, J. 2014, ‘Biogas How This Common but Underexplored Cooking Fuel is Changing Lives in Africa’, smallstarte business idea, 2 March, viewed 12 on June 2016, < >

Thomas Klasson, K., & Nhuan (John) P, Nghiem. 2003, ‘Energy Production from Zoo Animal Wastes’, United States Government, viewed 12 on June 2016, <>

Zoos Victoria, Zoo Gro, viewed 10 June 2016,<>

Post C: Waste management in zoos and hospital

Literature Review

We as a community believe that every thing has its own value, and that is why we are encouraged to develop sustainable resource recovery. However, some unreasonable treatments of organic waste have damaged our environment. When organic matter decomposes in landfill it generates methane, a potent greenhouse gas. But if the organics are used in the right way such as replenishing our soils and gardens via compost and mulch, this will contribute positively to our lives. Some organic waste management organizations currently help us live sustainably.

In the document National Waste Reporting in 2013, 3/4 of organic wastes were recycled and 1/6 were used in energy recovery (National waste reporting 2013). The chart below reflected total waste generation through material categories and resource recovery management that was produced by the Australian Government.

Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 1.53.40 PM.png(National waste reporting 2013)

Besides this, under the guidance and management of the Australian Government, New South Wales and Victoria achieved resource recovery rates above the national average in 2010-2011(National waste reporting 2013). ­­


Not only do world governments have a responsibility to manage their national organic waste systems, there are also some organizations within the countries that apply real action to manage their own waste systems. Zoos Victoria is working to achieve zero waste to landfill across their three zoos by 2019 through separating all recyclable materials, creating compost, and as a result, renewable energy. From worm farming to in-vessel composting, they have done a wonderful management plan at this moment. There are four main methods they are working on to manage organic waste. First, they have public place recycling, which is set up with a bin system; waste, green waste recycling and comingled recycling. Secondly, worm farming is used to deal with animal waste. Around 400 kilograms of organic waste that is produced by their animal husbandry and catering is returned back to make soil conditioners and fertilisers (Zoos Victoria). Likewise, some exhibits are designed with recycled materials from previous collections. In addition, the ‘Zoo Gro Compost’ produces high quality soil that can kill off any weeds and seeds, and will help improve water and nutrient retention (Zoos Victoria).

(Zoos Victoria)

Bir Hospital

These organizations manage their organic waste not only locally, but also internationally. Bir Hospital is a model of responsible recycling of hospital waste, and has influenced not only other hospitals in Nepal but around the world. Before their current systems, approximately 365 tons of medical waste was discarded into the municipal dumps per day; which led to 323 kg of infectious waste going into the public garbage system and being distributed into the environment, which was infecting patients and staff (Bhrikuti 2011). Therefore, they started to manage medical waste. Methane produced by organic waste in the underground methane tank is used for cooking. Non biodegradable waste is recycled and sold to a vendor or used to make handicrafts(Bhrikuti 2011). Due to this effective manage system, the environment is becoming better and patients are recovering faster.

In order to create a green future, every one needs focus more attention on managing their own organic waste and applying this into real action.


Bhrikuti,R. 2011, ‘A model hospital’, Nepali Times’s blog, 09 December 2011-15 December 2011, viewed 10 June 2016,< >

National waste reporting 2013. < >

Scope TV 2015, Scope – Hot Rot, YouTube, viewed 10 June 2016, <>

Suez, Resource Recovery & Recycling, viewed 10 June 2016 <>

Zoos Victoria, Waste management, viewed 10 June 2016,<>

Zoos Victoria, Zoo Gro, viewed 10 June 2016,<>


Post B: Data method usage

When you want to get an effective solution to the problem, the data/research method has become an indispensable tool. An appropriate research method will help you collect and correctly interpret the results of research in any field of behavioral science.

As a designer, I usually work with two research methods to develop my projects. The first method is investigation of secondary sources that I used to support my primary research. The second is investigation of and analysis of data, which can help me find out the key problems. This technique is applied in various fields: scientific research, medical treatment, environmental protection and resource recovery. For example, environmental protection organizations use the detection of atmospheric and water pollutants data, with the goal of discovering useful information, suggesting conclusions, and supporting decision-making.

City of Sydney created their, “­­­­­­Interim Waste Strategy” to meet their target for diverting 66 percent of domestic waste from landfill by 2014 (EWB). As well, it details the other issues, trends, potential targets and goals the City is considering in order to provide sustainable waste and recycling services through until 2030. In order to put forward a more influential design solution, the City of Sydney has collected the data from the local waste audit, and analysed it to clarify the main problem.

In 2011 The City of Sydney had:

  • more than 180,000 residents in approximately 90,000 homes
  • Approximately 308,000 tonnes of garbage and recycling was produced across the local government area in 2010

Based on the data that shows the present rates of population growth, they believe the City could be producing more than 375,000 tonnes of waste in 2030 (EWB 2008)

Waste Audit data:

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 8.26.20 PMScreen Shot 2016-06-09 at 8.26.27 PMScreen Shot 2016-06-09 at 8.26.39 PM

(EWB 2008)

I believe the most interesting thing is their design solution in 2020 is that in apartment buildings, every morning, you need put your coffee grounds into a home composting container and take the recycling and garbage bags with you. The service room near your lift will be accessible 24-hours a day, so you do not need to keep the garbage in your apartment.

Inside the service room, there will be a garbage inlet, which automatically opens as you pass your coded garbage bag in front of an electronic reader. If you put the bag inside, it will drop to a storage pod in the building’s basement. Every time you put the garbage in the correct category, the system will send you message to give you reward discounts at a local store.

It is a great way to encourage­ people to engage in waste management and reflect on real action.

As well as this, cat food tins, drink bottles and cardboard packaging are removed and separated into different containers, then taken to the Advanced Waste Treatment Center. In the treatment center, recyclables and useful materials are sifted and used to produce synthetic gas. Synthetic gas will supply the city’s electricity and provide heat throughout the network. The design of this innovative technology will not only support peoples lives in a sustainable city, it will also make the community realize that recycling a small part of garbage can help you power your home and make your life better.


(City of Sydney 2014)


City of Sydney 2014, The City of Sydney’s plan for waste you can’t recycle, Youtube, < >

Engineers without borders Australia, 2008, waste management, < >

GlobaIPSC, 2011, ‘ City of Sydney Supports GlobaIPSC in interim Waste Strategy ‘, post on News, 9 September 2011, viewed 9 June 2016, <>