Planning for Organics Recycling in Urban and Regional Settings
This presentation will delve into how waste composition study outcomes can go beyond providing a pie graph or two and provide substantive program assessment and analysis to optimize organics prevention and diversion efforts across sectors. Waste composition studies allow for comparison against historical data as well as other jurisdiction or business type. In conjunction with tonnage weights, they can be used to determine bylaw compliance, evaluate diversion potential, estimate disposal tonnages to inform processing needs over time, prevent food waste, and measure program results over time.
Tetra Tech is at the forefront of adapting food waste sorting methodology for a North American context and works with public and private sector entities to sort up to 11 food waste categories. These outcomes differentiate between avoidable and unavoidable food waste, basic food types, and can be further divided in a commercial context to show what food is wasted due to overproduction, spoilage, and other key variables.
Examples of specific uses of waste composition studies will be provided along with how the results influenced change related to increased organics capture and reduced contamination. As informed by the World Resource Institute’s Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard, other measurement tools to measure program success will also be highlighted including the use of visual audits, food waste diaries and tracking systems, and usingproxy data to extrapolate and estimate food waste. Specific tools and key take aways will be made available at the conclusion of the presentation.