Post D: Literature Review

Across south eastern Australia, an estimate of over 20,000 tonnes (approx. 20 million kilograms) of fish waste is produced each year. Seafood markets such as our local Sydney Fish Markets, generally only keep the fillets during the processing of fish. This means the remaining two thirds of the whole weight, consist of fish heads, guts, bones and skin, gets discarded. In some cases, this waste may be transported from the processing site to get rendered, however it is usually discarded to landfill. As a result, these industries are copping major backlash for inadequate disposal systems because such wastes cause environmental problems (Arvanitoyannis & Ladas, 2008) and is becoming increasingly costly for the whole industry as it costs the processor up to $150 per tonne.

As a possible solution to better manage and improve the utilisation of fish waste being left unwanted, seafood industry leaders discussed at a Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) workshop in 2001 particular techniques to process the waste into products such as aquaculture feeds (food specially formulated to contain all essential nutrients for seafood consumption), silage, fertilisers, fish mince, and fishmeal. After careful consideration the leaders agreed to produce fish-based fertiliser from the fish waste as it was the most feasible option during that time. This was the most suitable option as it would utilise the bulk of the fish waste and it is proven to be cost-effective due to the low volume and wide geographical area covered by Australia’s seafood industry. From the article, ‘Utilisation of seafood processing waste – challenges and opportunities’, Ian Knuckey writes, Australian Seafood Co-products (ASCo) Fertilisers intend to potentially use large quantities of fish-based fertiliser on farming sectors for agricultural crops and can also be certified for use in the rapidly growing organic (farming) market.

fish waste
Image 1: Fish waste

 

References:

http://www.fishwell.com.au/app_cmslib/media/lib/0908/m454_v1_soil_knuckeyi%20final.pdf

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/264510450_Optimising_drying_parameters_to_maximise_omega-3_essential_fatty_acid_yields_in_striped_weakfish_Cynoscion_striatus_industry_waste

 

 

Post C: The Importance of Research

Once the direction of the project brief was decided upon by the group and with the help and guidance of our tutors, we were able to then brainstorm the various research and data methods that would be helpful and contribute to the development and finding the solution to our project brief.

During this process, we used mind maps to identify the boundaries and stakeholders, surveys, interviews, literature reviews, STEEP analysis, researching existing successful examples of similar designs, and a comparison of our waste audits.

Mind Maps

Mind maps were used pretty much throughout the whole duration of this project and the semester. With this tool, we were able map out in detail and identify the key boundaries and stakeholders involved in our project brief and solution. By doing so, it helped us to really narrow down where, when and how we wanted to educate our audience regarding better waste management practices and improving waste segregation, as well as who our audience is and who we need to contact to help us successfully execute our design solution.

Boundary Mapping of Project
Image 1: The Boundaries
Stakeholders
Image 2: Stakeholders Involved

Surveys

Although this data method was helpful in collecting primary quantitative data. I felt that it was unnecessary as we are already know that students studying at UTS are unaware or don’t have much knowledge regarding the management and process of organic waste on campus. It was helpful in the sense that it allowed us to gain a broad understanding of what students know and don’t know about waste management.

The results from the survey identified students don’t know much about what happens to organic waste once disposed at UTS. 11 out of 46 participants are in their first year and the remaining 35 participants are either in second, third, fourth or sixth year (double degree). 80.43 % of participants have a poor level of understanding on the food waste management education at UTS and 91.30 % of participants don’t know much about the process of organic waste once disposed.

General Student Survey (46 Respondees)
Image 3: Survey conducted via Survey Monkey

Interviews

Our interview with Batyr@UTS contributed to our research as they have previously held campaigns on campus with similar attributes to what we’ve identified as our main objectives for our project brief, which is to educate and raise awareness by engaging in direct personal contact with individuals.

Batyr Impact Report @ UTS
Image 4: Graph of Batyr Impact Report at UTS

Literature reviews

We’ve conducted a literature review that further grounds our understanding of the importance of early intervention promoting greater effect long term.

STEEP Analysis

The STEEP analysis helped us evaluate the different external factors that have an impact on UTS.

STEEP Analysis
Image 5: STEEP Analysis

Post B: Caddie Liner Reflection

For assessment 2a, each group were given the task to create a caddie bin liner design along with an instruction sheet that clearly demonstrates how the caddie bin liner is formed. The NSW EPA requested for the end product to be made from newspaper and the design to be appealing enough in all aspects that more people would be encouraged to actually fold the caddie liner and make more use out of their caddies at home. The brief itself was straightforward, which was fitting considering the amount of time we had to develop a solution.

My first thought when given the brief and the time we had to complete it was to keep the design simple and for it to require minimal time and effort for people to create. When we met as a group to discuss the project, each member had a similar thinking. We began this process by setting clear objectives, which helped us to gain clarity and direction. Our main objective was to create a product that is clear, simple, accessible, affordable and practical. Not only was this our main focus, but to also visually communicate this idea to the audience through the instruction sheet and other deliverables (instruction sheet as a sticker to place on the front of the bin) to encourage people to attempt making our caddie liner.

Screen Shot 2017-05-11 at 4.37.13 pm
Image 1: Caddie bin liner mission statement

 

With this, we developed a six step origami caddie bin liner with several refinements made that lead us to our final design.

Screen Shot 2017-05-11 at 4.50.36 pm
Image 2: Caddie bin liner instruction sheet

As a group of six interdisciplinary students (Visual Communication, Fashion and Integrated Product Design), we were able to learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses and play on each member’s skills set and knowledge. Visual communication students’ tend to focus on engaging and communicating key concepts and messages to the audience through aesthetics, while Fashion and IPD students tend to be more hands-on and tactile. As designers from different disciplines, we were able to approach the design brief through various factors as we understand there isn’t just one answer for this solution.

Ensuring that everyone kept in contact, I created a Facebook page and chat group as a platform where everyone could maintain efficient and effective communication.

During the early stages, research was conducted individually before gathering again to share our ideas and findings. The feedback provided in response to each idea helped us narrow down to one particular design we thought had the most potential and successful in all aspects possible – quick and easy to make, not overly complicated, inexpensive production costs, and more. Following this, refinements were made where we thought were necessary, for example adding an optional extra layer at the bottom of the liner to increase durability and eliminating unnecessary steps to shorten the amount of time required to fold. We then outlined a list of tasks to delegate to each member and to be completed by the next meeting. During the time in between meetings, we continued to communicate via social media and offered help to others when needed for further refinement. We met one last time outside of uni to collate everything together and prepare for our presentation.

I felt that our group dynamic worked really well. Everyone had a solid understanding and respect for each member’s skills set, knowledge and schedule. Although it was a little challenging arranging meetings outside of uni with everyone’s busy uni/work schedule, we managed to meet up every Wednesday morning before class. Participation and contribution from all members was also promising.

However, if we were given more time I would’ve liked more flexibility within the NSW EPA brief and have the opportunity to experiment with other sustainable materials in creating the caddie liner.

 

References:

Post A: One Day Waste Audit

My twenty four hour waste audit of a typical Thursday. Thursdays are generally my days off spent at home. This allows me more time to prepare and enjoy three standard meals throughout the day, as well as grocery shop for the week ahead. In this post we explore the foods consumed at breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with the waste that is collected by the end of the day.

image2 (1)
Image 1: Foods consumed at breakfast, lunch and dinner

As illustrated in the image above, a bowl of cereal and a cup of tea were consumed for breakfast, a simple salad for lunch, and a quick and easy spaghetti bolognese for dinner. I live in a household of two, which means my partner and I make a habit of cooking portions big enough for the both of us. We usually make larger portions for dinner so that the leftovers can be saved for lunch or dinner the following day. By doing this, we reduce the usage of gas, electricity and water from cooking a meal from scratch, as well as reducing the amount of wastage from not disposing of the leftovers.

Waste collected:

Breakfast

Cereal – milk (carton), Weet Bix (box and plastic packaging containing cereal)
Cup of tea – tea leaves (tea bag), milk (carton), and sugar (packaging)

Lunch

Salad – spinach (packaging), cucumber (ends), capsicums (stems, core and seeds), and cherry tomatoes (packaging)

Dinner

Spaghetti bolognese – spaghetti (packaging), pork mince (glad wrap and styrofoam plate), onion (skin and ends), pasta sauce (glass jar), and leftovers saved for the next day

image3

The waste was categorised into two, general waste and recyclables. The tea bag, styrofoam plate, glad wrap, stems, core and seeds, onion skin, and plastic packagings were disposed into the red bin (general). Whereas the milk carton, cereal box, glass jar (rinsed) were disposed into the yellow bin (recycling). Due to living in an apartment complex in Surry Hills, we do not have access to green bins for organic waste, which is why we combine our organic waste with our general waste. However, by doing so we have to empty our bins more frequently to avoid build up of unpleasant odours. According to the article, ‘The Smell of Garbage’ by Chaz Miller, bad odours develop during the decomposition process of combined decaying and putrescible materials such as meats, vegetables or diapers. As meat decays, it attracts bacteria that feeds on the amino acids in the meat’s protein. Vegetables can also rot and slowly liquify. When these various types of wastes are combined and exposed to air, more gases, liquid and odour are produced.

image1 (1)
Image 3: Canvas bags vs. plastic bags

When shopping for groceries, we tend to always use the Aldi reusable canvas bags. Unless we run out of bin bags, then we’ll go to Coles or Woolworths and collect the plastic bags to carry our items. Although, I prefer using reusable canvas bags for their durability and eco friendly aspects.

After conducting this audit, I have started to consider some appropriate actions I can take to reduce waste and harm:

  • Separating wet from dry waste to delay the decomposition process and control odour.
  • Freeze organic waste until next time I go out and am able to find a green bin to throw away into.
  • Purchasing some fundamental household products in bulk to reduce the amount of packaging that is disposed.

 

References:

Miller, C. 2005, ‘The Smell of Garbage’, Waste 360 Magazine, 1 January, viewed 27 March 2017, <http://www.waste360.com/mag/waste_smell_garbage>