Post C: Project

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 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.



Post D: Systems of Organic Food Waste Near and Far

An international organic food waste system in “Full scale co-digestion of waste water sludge and food waste: Bottlenecks and possibilities” by D. Bolzonella, J. E. Drewes, K. Koch, L. D. Nghiem (2017) refers to a case study in Oberding, Germany at a ‘centralised food waste processing plant’ discussing the challenges and opportunities to the system. Back in Australia, my current workplace, Hornsby RSL Club, last month placed a Pulpmaster 5000 in there main back of house area. Being part of the system gives me a unique first hand experience.


International (Germany)

Initially the Oberding plant was a treatment plant for ‘slaughter house waste’ from 1940 (Bolzonella, Drewes, Koch, Nghiem 2017). Not until 1995 did the plant begin to accept food waste (Bolzonella, Drewes, Koch, Nghiem 2017). In 2001 an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the UK originally but fast spread to Europe changing Oberding pre-treated food waste to anaerobic digestion (Bolzonella, Drewes, Koch, Nghiem 2017). ‘Each year, about 10,000 t of expired food and 60,000 t of food waste from commercial customers e.g. restaurants, canteens and supermarkets are collected’ within a 200km radius of the plant (Bolzonella, Drewes, Koch, Nghiem 2017). ‘The average gate fee was 30 €/t (in 2016)’ (Bolzonella, Drewes, Koch, Nghiem 2017).

‘Oberding has a specialised fleet of trucks able to accommodate three different bin sizes (i.e. 120, 240, 1000 L)’ (Bolzonella, Drewes, Koch, Nghiem 2017). Customers can choose to have clean bins or use a bag system, the trucks are fitted with a high pressure water cleaning equipment attached to the truck (Bolzonella, Drewes, Koch, Nghiem 2017).

‘Food waste is unloaded to a live bottom feeder using customised fork lifts equipped with a tilting rack that can accommodate several bins together. The bins are automatically cleaned with high pressure water, then steam-cleaned on a conveying belt before returning to service. The mixture of water and food waste is macerated by a hammer mill. Plastic materials are removed by a drum sieve while other heavy inert materials (e.g., broken glass and ceramic, bones, metals) are removed by gravity. The plant operator estimates that inert materials account only for about 3% of the input. After maceration, the food waste slurry is transferred into a pressurised vessel where it is heated to 120 °C by steam for at least 15 min. The heated liquid food waste is then centrifuged for oil recovery. Some canteens and restaurants do not separate fat, oil and grease from food waste. Thus, oil recovery by centrifugation accounts for 6–7% of the total food waste input. The pre-treated liquid food waste is stored in insulated reservoirs and delivered to a number of co-digestion plants (including agricultural biogas plants) using tankers with insulation capacity to maintain a temperature of at least 90 °C.’

(Bolzonella, Drewes, Koch, Nghiem 2017).

Oberding food waste system diagram

Oberding Plant System Diagram (Bolzonella, Drewes, Koch, Nghiem 2017)

Not all parts of the process are possible to complete at the Oberding Plant however this excerpt above gives great insight into what’s in the process to treat and separate the organic food waste.




The only machine available from Pulpmaster is the Pulpmaster 5000 (Pulpmaster 2017). The machine is a little larger than a washing machine size with a connection to a tank that’s accessible via truck. The Pulpmaster converts the organic food waste into slurry. In the case of the RSL the tank is located in the loading dock, this is where patrons aren’t in contact with the tank in case there is an issue of smell or over flow. The Pulpmaster machine notifies the Pulpmaster office with an SMS or email when it reaches 80% full to schedule a truck to come pick it up (Pulpmaster 2017). Once the tank reaches 100% it will stop processing organic food waste until it is emptied. The truck transports it to a site where it is recycled.


Slurry Machine (McManis 2017)


Tank (McManis 2017)

Every day the machine is used. Its busiest periods are during lunchtime service 12pm – 2:30pm and dinner service 5:30pm – 9:30pm when the floor attendants are collecting plates. The chefs use the Pulpmaster throughout the day from their preparing of food to the end of the day when food service is complete at 9:30pm when they’re cleaning the kitchen.


 (Pulpmaster 2017)

The prep kitchen, the main kitchen and plate scraping for a day would produce 4 purple organic food waste bins each with a volume of 20L. Equalling about 240L. This doesn’t include the other café kitchen, tapas kitchen or functions. Taking the other kitchens into account the machine in one day would convert about 340L of organic food waste to slurry. Using the Calculator on the Pulpmaster website the total Greenhouse Gas Saved is 1027 kg.

Pulpmaster Calculator 340L

Calculator (Pulpmaster 2017)

As a system it reduces the amount of organic food waste going into the bins with the general waste. However it does take staff a little longer for the plates to be scraped into separate bins but that little extra time saves the RSL the cost on the general waste bins. There’s a small margin in it but from an environmental point of view and ethical point of view The RSL is doing their bit to help.


The international example gives great insight into what happens to the organic food waste once it has been collected from the producer where as the local example shows what happens at a baseline level, what the accumulation is over a significant period of time? The other area that needs to be considered is at what point do you choose between the money it takes to service the organic food waste and the environmental gain? I believe many businesses are reluctant to invest in organic food waste management systems because the costs are too high. The reward of environmental benefit doesn’t out way the risk of debt.

Environmental vs Financial Benefits diagram

(Bolzonella, Drewes, Koch, Nghiem 2017)



Post B: Group Caddie Design and Charter with Interdisciplinary Systems Design Thinking

The caddie design my group came up with was better than I could’ve imagined. Our concept meeting after a couple of hours came up with what I would call a simplified bag made out of paper. Initially we’d found a design online we all agreed was straight forward and easy to fold however coming from design backgrounds it was decided we needed to come up with our own original idea rather than something found off the internet. From there the group photographed and videoed the design to ensure communicating the design was easy to understand, straight forward and simple since the target market for the caddie liner is councils of New South Whales through the Environmental Protection Agency.

Screen Shot 2017-05-10 at 7.58.01 AM

Level Three Charter


What are our ‘ground rules’?

  • Consistency
  • Turning up on time
  • Communicating well through Facebook, contributing on assignments, giving feedback and opinions
  • Being vocal and voicing your opinions
  • Going through assignments together before turning it in
  • Complete assignments at / at least two days before due date

What will we do if a group member’s work doesn’t meet our standards?

  • Speak up assertively
  • Going about it in a respectful way (guidance, giving advice, offer help)

What are our goals? What are we trying to accomplish?

  • To produce quality work in a cohesive environment

How are we going to make decisions?

  • Consulting every member of the group
  • Everyone gets to voice out their opinions and give feedbacks

What skills, strengths and weaknesses do we have within our group?

  • Working well together along with good communication
  • Need to be more attentive
  • Keeping on top of dates
  • Staying on par and informing each other on new information / readings, etc

We, the group named LEVEL THREE agree with this charter and will try our best to uphold it.

The above is my group’s charter.


The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘charter’ as:


A written grant by the sovereign or legislative power of a country, by which a body such as a borough, company, or university is created or its rights and privileges defined. – A written constitution or description of an organization’s functions.

Oxford Dictionary 2017, Charter, viewed 9 May 2017, <;.


As a group we put these guidelines together to help everybody understand what was expected of them. Specifics like ‘turning up on time’, ‘communicating well through Facebook, contributing to assignments, giving feedback and opinions’ and ‘consulting every member of the group’ were a few that I thought were important to me. This means every member of the group is accountable and therefore action can be taken if they’re not meeting these guidelines.


How can different design disciplines contribute to organic waste solutions?

Design disciplines attempt to resolve design problems everyday however their process is catered to their discipline. If these processes are amalgamated with other design disciplines the difference in thinking and angle of approach can be the tipping point to creating a design solution. Many of the design practices learnt can be applied to organic waste in the sense of observational research, all disciplines partake but have different methods of what they do with the research and how they react to it. The same can be said for user testing. A designer from integrated product design (IPD) would have an extensive understanding of what to do with the information taken from user testing compared to a landscape designer. Yes a landscape designer still has user testing but not as detailed as an IPD designer. Working to each group members strength in the process can make the discovery of the solution to the problem some what easier.


Why is it important to include designers in the management of organic waste?

Designers look at problem solving differently to the average person. They think about the process each cog in the wheel goes through as part of the overall system. The designer may look at the whole picture rather than just a section of it realising that from looking at the whole picture the section can be fixed if another section is adjusted rather than the one with the problem. The solution may not always be in front of you. A designer is capable of moving through the stages of the design process to understand and change the design to then improve on what is already there.


What contribution does design make to thinking about systems? to changing systems? to inventing systems?

There wouldn’t be a system in the first place if someone hadn’t considered how the system would operate. By considering how the system would operate that is design. The depth of design depends on how complex the systems is in the essence of what day do you put your garbage bin out to be picked up compared to what route the garbage truck takes to empty the bins in your suburb that is time affective as well as conscious of the fuel taken to complete the action.

Many systems are thought about by improving an already existing system because someone thinks it can be done faster, more economically or to benefit a certain group of people. System’s design is always about making it better in some way shape or form. Designers have the background and experience to make it possible.

Post A: Twenty-Four Hour Waste Audit

In all honesty I don’t think about what I do on a day-to-day basis with the organic waste I produce. As soon as I heard organic I jumped to thinking of food and in particular vegetables and fruit. However there are other areas considered to be organic waste I didn’t think of straight away like water waste, paper waste and recycling.


When moving through my day I don’t think about how I deal with waste because I revert to habits or what is taught to me while growing up and continued through to today. So it’s a little difficult to analyse my own process. However I believe I’ve managed it below.


On Wednesday 22nd March 2017 the Wealth from Waste class was invited to celebrate 20th Anniversary of the Institution for Sustainable Futures (ISF) which also corresponded with their book launch, ‘Transdisciplinary Research and Practice for Sustainability Outcomes’ filled with scholarly work. The other reason we were in attendance was to process a waste audit on the food provided at the function. All food served was locally sourced and vegan.


The Menu:


Bruschetta of heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, pesto and extra virgin olive oil (GF).

Tomatoes from Joe Tramontle, Rossmore.


Rice paper rolls with kelp noodles, mint, coriander and enoki mushrooms.

Mushrooms from Mittagong Mushroom Tunnel, Southern Highlands.


Savoury carrot cake with candied walnuts (GF).

Carrots from Oaklands NSW Walnuts from the Riverina NSW.


Tempura zucchini flowers, sweet corn puree with black garlic aiolo (GF)

Zucchini flowers from Hinterland zucchini flowers, Sunshine Coast.


Mushroom walnut baklava with pine nut cream.

Field mushrooms from Shoalhaven mushrooms, Termail NSW.


Sweet corn and avocado blinis.

Sweet corn from Camillerie Family, Oakwille NSW.


Beetroot inside out arancini, cashew and popped riced (GF).

Beetroots from Ed Fagan, Cowra NSW.


Vegetable patch dip.
Organic food waste attendees chose not to eat.



Let’s take for example a punnet of tomatoes from Joe Tramontle. The punnet has to travel from Rossmore to a market or directly to the UTS campus. There are three points where it can be sold. From Joe’s farm, the market or when it arrives at the UTS campus. After being sold the tomatoes are placed in a prep kitchen. So far the tomatoes contributed to CO2 emissions from travelling and now from washing them under water. Lets say at least one drops on the ground. The tomato will be cleaned up at the end of the day when the prep kitchen has finished and most likely chucked in the bin to end up at landfill. The tomatoes are prepared for the appetiser and handed around the function




Breakfast waste in caddie

I began my day with breakfast tucking into cereal with skim milk. Having finished that I moved to bacon and eggs on a Turkish roll. The only organic food wastage was the two eggshells and fat from the bacon left in the pan. Water was used to wash up the pan, spatula, knife, fork and plate.



Lunch waste in caddie

Lunch was a ham, cheese, tomato, onion, avocado and spinach sandwich. The organic waste from lunch was the tomato end piece, avocado peal and avocado seed. The water wastage was washing up the three knives (serrated knife, butter knife and straight edge knife), cheese slicer, chopping board, glass and plate. I had a glass of water with lunch.



dinner waste in caddie

My family and I had dinner together. We shared a salad with spinach, cherry tomatoes, Spanish onion and Greek fetta. To accompany the salad we each had a piece of seasoned beef. The organic waste from the meal was just an avocado peal and avocado seed. The Spanish onion had previously been pealed only using what we need at the point in time allowing us to come back to it later for another meal. The water wastage was again from washing up the dishes to prepare and make the meal.