We the group, Level Three, proposed to a panel of organic food waste specialist on Wednesday 7th June 2017 to make organic food waste transparent at University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) by looking at practices, education and promotion. We began our process by writing our own brief and deciding on the confines we wanted to stay within in the sense of our target market, geographic location, stakeholder and a point in the direction of what we wanted to design. This was all developed from a literature review, blackboard audit, survey, data collection and observations.


As a group you will have the opportunity to design and create a communication tool for students of The University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and related demographics including staff and businesses in and around the UTS Campus. This communication tool needs to cater to practices, education and promotion by showing transparency surrounding the issues of food waste at UTS.

Research needs to be undertaken to inform and raise awareness regarding the current food waste situation at UTS. Using the UTS Sustainable Development Goals as an initial starting point will assist beginning your process for showing transparency surrounding the issues of food waste at UTS. Primary and secondary methods such as data collection, mind maps, surveys, observation, user testing and literature review need to be undertaken carefully with precision to provide accurate data.

Your presentation of your UTS food waste communication tool is due Wednesday 7th June 2017. You will need to have the food waste tool finalised by Friday 2nd June 2017.

You are to approach the food waste problem at UTS in four separate areas:

  • Food Waste Management
  • Food Waste Communication
  • Food Waste Education
  • Food Waste Systems

The communication tool needs to be presented neatly and in a cohesive manner. Remember you’re designing mainly for students but also for UTS staff and businesses around the UTS campus.

Above is our brief. Initially we struggled to place the right confines on our brief from attempting to come up with the final design solution before going through the design process. The brief hits a couple of key points we decided to align ourselves and the goals we wanted to achieve to the UTS Sustainable Develop Goals. Another key point was sharing and communicating to the UTS community, mainly students about the benefits of organic food waste and what can do to make it transparent.

Survey Analysis

We conducted a survey on organic food waste at UTS aimed at students to see what they knew about the system and whether they wanted to know more. The questions we asked on Survey Monkey, an Internet survey platform made it easier and faster to collect the data.

The results from the survey, identified students don’t know much about the organic food waste system at UTS referring to the 26 out of 39 people in question one. However 37 out of 39 people said they would change their behaviour referring to question four, if they were provided facts and figures. The other insight made was 27 out of 39 people were willing to be part of a broader scheme of organic food waste even with a chance their efforts could be wasted.

Literature Review

We’ve conducted a literature review to further ground our research regarding the current standings of food waste. Looking at this matter from a bigger picture, we’ve divided our research into three sub topics regarding our main focus on food waste (transparency); transparency in everyday practices, education, and promotion. Transparency in everyday practices focuses on the habits and behaviours of humans that shapes the current state of food waste our society is at now. We focused on diving in deeper on how big of an impact of humans can make regarding food waste, and how important it is to know beyond the existing rules of waste distribution, rather concrete their understandings on the current state of food waste. Transparency in education focuses on the precise definition of food waste by being transparent about food waste, as a lack of understanding can result to ignorance. Transparency in promotion is a big part of food waste – our take on this topic was to be completely transparent about the numbers and statistics of the state of food waste right now, as well as goals for the future. This way, we were hoping to stimulate interest from society to take part in improving this matter.

This literature review helped us develop a concrete definition of transparency and food waste itself to move forward with our design ideas. We understand that education was a key point of this topic – as a result, we chose to focus on integrating an educational advertisement through promoting the importance of transparency regarding food waste, and how big of an impact humans can contribute to make a change.


The first design we created was poster based. We believe posters are always a necessary element to any advertising campaign due to their ability to intrigue passerby’s, contain all relevant details and maintain a prominence across the campus. Containing a different type of food on each, the vector is depicted at a low transparency to reinforce our transparent theme.

The second design constructed was a design that we decided on when walking the sidewalks of the university. “Food Prints” were formed as a concept that can be applied to the ground of all walking spaces on campus. Naturally looking down when walking, students, staff and visitors can walk on our food prints and at a glance, be reminded of the message we are attempting to convey to UTS as a whole.


Our transparency communication tool has been developed from the results of the literature review, black board audit, organic food waste data collection, online survey and visual analysis. This has given us the evidence to design an appropriate answer to organic food waste not going to landfill but back into our gardens by means of compost from the machines in building 8 and 10.




A society’s attitude towards disposing and treating organic waste clearly varies around the world, which can vary depending on attitude and cultural differences. Solid waste management is considered to be one of the most serious environmental issues confronting urban areas in developing countries (D. G. J. Premakumara, M. Abe & T. Maeda, Reducing municipal waste through promoting integrated sustainable waste management (ISWM) practices in Surabaya city, Indonesia). Being the second largest city in Indonesia with a population of three million, Surabaya has been progressing over the years regarding their waste system, reducing its municipal waste generation by more than 20% over the last few years. Surabaya focused on promoting compositing of organic waste, which has the average daily amount of 1,500 tonnes before 2005, which then decreased to 1,300 tonnes in 2007, then even lower in 2008 at 1,150 tonnes. They introduced separation and reduction activities within individual practices, such as household habitual changes, community based collections, etc. By establishing Integrated Sustainable Waste Management (ISWM), Surabaya shows just how possible it is to reduce a large quantity of waste in a short time, as well as having a limited budget to start.

Many cities, including Surabaya, integrated the basic management system, which is the 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), as a main stand point to encourage waste reduction, however, it has not been completely effective.With mixed results and relatively few efforts have been made to regulate organic materials that usually comprise over 50% of the total waste generation in the cities (D. G. J. Premakumara, M. Abe & T. Maeda, Reducing municipal waste through promoting integrated sustainable waste management (ISWM) practices in Surabaya city, Indonesia). Evidently, the practice of 3R has become the basis of sustainability in urban waste management – According to Smith and Scott, the waste management hierarchy is a protocol to maximise the recovery options and to minimise disposal through open dumping, limiting negative impact on the environment and natural resources as much as possible is the basis for achieving sustainable waste management. The levels of management system also varies depending on its habitat scale, and how its being implied as well. An example shown in Figure1 shows a clear table of a variety of scales, which were divided into household level, neighbourhood level, as well as city level. It explains the collection of disposals, as well as its recovery system post collection.

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The city of Surabaya focuses on integrating existing recycling systems, as opposed to establishing new recycling ways so that they develop the lives of the society and being quite cost efficient as well (Waste Reduction Model of Surabaya City – 1). This statement was very intriguing as it shows how creating is not always the end solution to things, rather improving the system in itself and focusing on strengthening the society’s understanding regarding the disposal system. Unifying their passion of reducing waste, the city of Surabaya focused on promoting environmental impacts and composting practices in schools, households, and work sites, which evidently became very effective as these locations are practices that needs to be targeted to develop a change in waste reduction.

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Within this figure (Figure2) above, this map shows the three main stakeholders of the city of Surabaya, which were the providers (who offers services), the users, and other possible external agents. Users and waste generations were the focused stakeholders in the waste reduction process as they play a huge role in contributing in actions and habitual changes to better the waste management system in Surabaya.






UN-HABITAT, Solid Waste Management in the World’s Cities, Earthscan Ltd: London and Washington, D.C., p. V, 2010.
“IGES: Sustainable Cities Organic Waste Composting”. Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES). N.p., 2017. Web. 14 June 2017. <;
“Indonesia Organic – Ecobali Recycling – Bali”. N.p., 2017. Web. 16 June 2017.

Post B: Group Reflection & Research Methods

As a part of the Interdisciplinary subject – we, as a group, needed an in depth understanding of research methods, and how to utilise them within our kitchen caddy project. Consisting of team members from different design fields, we’ve contributed by sharing our experiences and integrate them together to create an effective method of research to complete our project. Having had the opportunity to work for a real life client, we approached this together by brainstorming key points we needed to tackle this project itself. 

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We started of discussing about a group charter, which consisted of agreements relating our ground rules, standards, goals, decision making, as well as strengths and weaknesses that would compliment one another as a team. We began by researching existing caddy liner designs by researching what was already out there in the market, analysed what has been done as well as what worked best, and took that into consideration to start our brainstorming process, in which we have tackled in a quite hands on way.

Starting up this project, we needed to understand how to tackle this project, which regarded such a complex topic like Organic Waste as it is such a big part of us, and how sensitive this topic may be to some. Considering how our group consists of not only different design practices; we come from different backgrounds and habits growing up, as well as different types of homes, from apartment buildings, to family houses, etc. We used this information and gathered our personal experiences and understood each others practices, and put that into consideration as well. For example, I myself live in an shared apartment with two other students, in which two bins are shared. One bin is for our general waste, and the other is for recyclable items such as packaging, bottles, etc. Each individual had their own waste practices, and understanding where we needed to grow and improve our ways, the easier it is for us to understand the on going issue of this Organic Waste topic.

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We made sure we understood types of design methods and strayed away from merely assuming, rather, testing and observing for facts. This project relates to a few design methodologies as shown above; we want to know how to investigate our topic effectively, therefore, we needed facts. We revealed the effectiveness of our kitchen caddy liner by doing experiments within our homes to see if we were able to move forward onto our next design step. We, as a team, strongly agree that one concept must be grounded before moving on to the next one, so that we will end up with a strong product at the end. Organic Waste as a topic is quite broad in itself, therefore, different viewpoints are highly expected, although, it is very useful for us as we used it to move forward with our design practices. Prior to starting our group assignment, we’ve made a post regarding an audit, in which facts are depending on the observers view point. In our case with the caddy liner design, we’ve used these points not to just find answers on what works best, rather, finding solutions to how to improve our design and making sure we test it out to ensure it working for people around us as well. With a topic like Organic Waste we want to make sure that our attitude towards our project reflects how complex this topic actually is, and not overlook that there are definitely more than a handful of ways to tackle this on going problem. 

Research Methods An Introduction. N.p., 2017. Web. 8 May 2017. <>

Post A: One Day Audit

On Wednesday, March 22nd 2017, we’ve gathered in class to attend a function to attempt our first audit on canapés. My initial thought was to keep an eye on the amount of food being brought out and the amount of people attending the event itself. I can’t say I’ve been involved in the food and beverage industry, but I expect that serving more food, even if it meant that there would be an excessive amount of left-overs, would be better than not serving enough food – and my thoughts were somewhat correct. I was quite hesitant to ask the employee’s about the canapés, although, I’ve noticed that they tend to take the food back to the kitchen when it started to look unpresentable, even though it was nowhere near being finished. They served a terrarium inspired canapé of raw vegetables and hummus, which, in my opinion had an excessive amount of hummus for the amount of vegetables being served at a time. I understand that aesthetics are crucial in events, but was this really necessary? I’ve noticed that the foods the waiters served got more attention as opposed to the canapés that were displayed on every standing table across the room.

Untitled-1After attempting that first audit, I conducted one at my own home regarding our organic waste system. My current living arrangement includes two of my close friends and I, in a three bedroom apartment, in which a communal bin space is shared between all residents in the building. My roommates and I share a generally similar understanding when it comes to rubbish, we seperate recyclable items in one bin, and organic / general waste bin in the other.


Although we generally understand the gist of recycling, I’ve noticed that a lot of us aren’t as careful when it comes to our organic / general waste bin. I’ve asked my roommates why they think we do this, and their answers were similar to mine; “when I’m in a rush, I don’t really think about it”. It was not until this subject came around for me to realise why my roommates and I are defining organic wastes and general wastes together. On Saturday, 1st of April 2017, I did an audit on our waste management and paid extra attention on the content within the general waste bin. First of all, the lines between our organic and general waste bin in our household is a complete blur – we use the organic bin to compose just about anything. We use a plastic bag liner we’ve reused from previous shopping trips, in which I think is quite contradicting as general plastic bags take at least 450-1000 years to disintegrate. Our bin contains an assortment of items that has been thrown in mindlessly, such as food scraps, containers, expired fruits and vegetables, wrappers, used tissues, and baking sheets. Within the communal bins, I realised that all tenants had reused plastic bags as their garbage liner as well, which was not a big surprise as it is a very common thing to do – and although some realise how ineffective this method is, we still choose to continue to do the same thing every time.

A drastic difference in discipline when it comes to recycling bin. More thought has been put into the content of this bin. No lining to avoid mixing materials.
Main problem located in the general waste bin. This picture above shows an assortment of wastes being categorised in one bin. As you can see, the recyclable plastic container is categorised as the same type of waste as the banana peel. The reasoning for this was that there were left over food within the container – it was placed in the ‘organic waste’ bin instead of cleaning out the content and separating wastes.




“Green Waste – City Of Sydney”. N.p., 2017. Web. 4 Apr. 2017

“Green Lid Garden Organics Bin”. N.p., 2017. Web. 4 Apr. 2017.

“Organic Waste”. May, 2015. Web. 4 Apr. 2017.