WU: Food waste tracking
Food is fundamental to human life. While people throw away food that is still edible, which is one-third of the food people eat every day, more than 87,000,000 people worldwide are facing hunger (from the “Food Waste Footprint: Impacts on Natural Resources” by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Therefore, reducing food waste is one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that the UN has set to achieve by 2023; food waste generated by global distribution and consumption must be reduced by 50%.
Thus, Walailak University sees good management of food waste and excess food as important to reduce the amount of food waste caused by distribution and consumption. To set goals for reduction, the university has given importance to monitoring the amount of food waste generated by food served within the university to be able to design a suitable solution for food waste by having a measurement system for the amount of food waste from the begin, mid-way, and end as follows:
- The process of monitoring the amount of food waste: begin
The sources of food waste within the university area are food centers, markets, student dormitories, staff dormitories, office buildings, sports centers, and parks. The processes of tracking and managing the amount of food waste from the origin:
(1) organizing a campaign project and making public relation media to raise awareness, stimulation, and prevention that will generate food waste or excess food and to publicize the separation of each type of waste and explain the destination of each type of waste food to users.
(2) waste separation to know the amount of food waste that occurs daily.
The university emphasizes the importance of waste separation, not including food waste with normal waste, which leads to the difficulty of separating before recycling and eliminating it, so taking advantage of food waste is difficult. Therefore, a large waste label has been created to make it clearly visible, and there are samples of garbage to convey to users to understand and be able to separate waste properly. Placing all trash bins in the same pattern to create knowledge, understanding, and benefits of waste separation for users, categorizing waste into 3 types, namely recycled waste, food waste, and general waste. Waste separation and utilization are different according to the type; food waste is waste that comes from nature or an environment that is decomposed and perishable and smells bad, such as food scraps, fruits, and vegetables.
(3) full trash notification system notifies when the trash is full via Line.
Once the waste has been sorted by type, staff will take the garbage out of the bin to collect and arrange the trash bins according to the type of garbage labels attached to the wall.
- The process of monitoring the amount of food waste: mid-way
There will be garbage trucks going all around the university to collect the garbage from the original process from each area
(1), divided into different days and times. By separating the time intervals and points, the amount of food waste is known to assess the garbage truck’s path. The route and time period are as follows:
- During Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday, there are 4 rounds of garbage collection, divided into 2-morning sessions and 2-afternoon sessions; details are as follows: round 1 Student Dormitory and Administrative Building, round 2 Tool Center, Academic Building, WU Hospital, Large Animal Teaching Hospital Walailak University, Walailak Park (inner line), round 3 Staff Housing, Sports Field, Botanical Park, Smart Farm Walailak University (outer line), round 4, University canteen.
(2) During Friday, Saturday, and Monday, there are 5 rounds of garbage collection, divided into 2-morning sessions and 3-afternoon sessions; details are as follows: Round 1 Student Dormitories and Administrative Buildings, round 2 Tool Center, Academic Building, round 3 WU Hospital. Large Animal Teaching Hospital Walailak University, Walailak Park (inner line), round 4 Staff Housing, Sports Field, Botanical Park, and Smart Farm Walailak University.
However, at the center points and canteens, there is a way to sort from bins directly for reuse by feeding to the pigs at campus farms or other points. Garbage trucks collect and unload to the waste sorting plant for each type. There is a method for collecting data, tracking. measuring the amount of food waste, recording the amount of food waste, and producing a performance report to analyze and develop an effective action plan and achieve goals. There will be a record of the amount of each type of waste at least once per week. There is a follow-up on waste sorting and data collection at least twice a month. From the operation, it was found that the average amount of food waste was 769 kg per day by focusing on a system to record the amount of waste and continuous monitoring to use the statistical results to improve food waste management.
- The process of monitoring the amount of food waste: end
From the sorting of food waste at the waste plant, there will be a way to track the amount of food waste and assess the benefits of how much food waste can be used.
The methods in which the operations were carried out from most to least were:
(1) Reuse: brought edible food to feed on the university’s swine farm. It is the most actionable management process.
(2) Recycle: brought food waste to the production process for reuse, such as biogas production through anaerobic fermentation and production of fertilizers for agriculture
(3) Disposal: take food waste that is no longer used to be disposed of by incineration or landfill.
Goal 2: Zero Hunger
Goal 3: Good Health and Well Being
Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals