Proposal for reducing carbonemissions from household food wasteCh. Yasaswini Lakshmi Title: Communitycomposting and home composting – sustainable way of disposing food waste fromhouseholds and thereby reducing carbon emissions.
Rationale: This proposaldetermines an alternative for reducing carbon footprint by analysing the foodwaste obtained from all the households in UK, the total cost of disposal,people’s concerns and total carbon emitted from the resulting food waste. Communitycomposting is a process where group of people or a colony share a green cone composterat a fixed central point in their own locality. The food waste is collected andgathered for composting instead of disposing it on the landfills. How the proposed research contributes tocarbon reduction: 71% of food waste comes from households. Foodwaste comprises of 30% of household waste and much of the avoidable food wastesuch as scraps, cooked food, and meat still goes to landfill. CO2 from foodwaste on landfill sites is equal to quarter of emissions released by cars inUK. Composting when possible can diminish the carbon footprint due to disposalof household food waste by 40%. It also reduces 90% of food waste and leavesvery little residue called as compost.
This results in less number of shuttlesfor garbage disposal and less fuel consumption. According to WRAP, “avoidablehousehold food that goes to landfills each year: Fresh fruit and vegetables: £2.6bn /1,200,000 t. Bakery: £860 m / 450,000 t. Home-made and pre-prepared meals: £2.1bn/ 440,000 t. Dairy products £780 m / 420,000 t. £290m worth of milk is thrownaway.
” Before composting After composting Avoidable Food waste going to landfills. 7.3 million tonnes valued at £25billion 3.5 million tonnes Carbon emissions from avoidable food waste.
CO2 eq. 19 million tonnes 9 million tonnes Additional benefits:· Doesn’t produce bad odour. No threat of rodentsand pests in the neighbourhood.
· Decreases waste percentage in your home. · The residue can be used as a fertiliser toimprove the quality of soil. This reduces water pollution caused due tochemically harmful fertilisers and pesticides in agricultural areas.· Provides education and raises awareness onsustainability, recycling and composting.· Since a portion of waste is removed from houses,recycling becomes much easier.· Avoids cross-contamination of food waste andother materials. Project description:Working:Green cone composter converts all kinds of food waste, raw and cooked, shellsand bones, into good quality compost. The final residue can be used as afertiliser in gardens or sold for agricultural use.
It uses sun’s energy to generatehigh temperature inside the cone for rapid microbiological processes. The dualcones create air gap, which enables continuous movement of fresh air. Thismaintains oxygen levels within the cone and creates aerobic conditions andhelps to alleviate foul smell. The underground basket is covered and safe fromcritters. The Green Cone composter can also be used for human and pet solid wasteduring emergency circumstances.Equipment:Garden shovel to dig hole, screwdriver to fix parts, safety gloves, compostbin.
Methods:The food waste from households goes into the composter. It has a capacity todigest 6 kg of food waste per day and one composter can be fixed for 5 housesor in a city farm, parks and gardens. Once the underground basket is filledwith compost, it can be emptied easily once every 3 to 6 months. Thecommunities can collaborate with the local municipality to collect the compostand deliver it to the needful.Thisproposal requires acceptance from the citizens. Door-to-door campaign is oftenthe most suitable approach because it will have a direct impact on the individuals.
Showing people works rather than teaching people. This can be done in thebeginning of every street by setting up a sample composter with some compost init. It helps deal with people’s worries and concerns, and changes their perspectiveof using the green cone composter.Parentsalso learn a lot from their children.
School children must be taught aboutcomposting and make them aware that the leftovers from school meals are used toproduce compost to grow vegetables in the school garden.Location:The composting site should be – Nearer to or within the households producingthe waste as it keeps freight costs low, and gives a better environmentalmessage. Easily accessible to medium sized vehicles. Parks or farms without stagnant water to avoidinconvenient and substandard work. Screened from neighbours who mightobject to the project Licensing:Approval from the local authority to re-schedule waste collection days for thehouseholds and collecting compost, to allot, operate and execute the proposal.Licence for selling the compost – BSI PAS 100 standard.
Permission for settingup composters in suitable common areas – T23 exemption.Possible costs: Marketing and awareness i.e. leaflets,posters, samples etc: £5million Hire /purchase of tools and equipment: £20millionRent and lease amount (can be negotiatedfor free, stating a public cause)Licence fees. Possible savings: The amount of food beingsent to landfill is approximately 7.3 million tonnes, costing UK residents £700per year. Average amount spent on food that couldhave been eaten but is thrown away: £470 by a family and £700 by families withchildren.The average family could save almost £60a month.
A UK household spends around £75 per month for clearing waste fromhomes. Composting food waste cuts the quantity of waste to be collected by 11%and thereby reduces collection costs, fuel and transportation costs.Income: selling compost – £10per tonne of compost. Funding: Food waste is collected from householdson a daily basis. Since the composter reduces nearly 90% of food waste, thecollection days will be dropped significantly.
Hence, disposal costs areminimised, the saved amount can be diverted for purchasing a composter. Large organisations and institutions maysponsor at least for few. For example: if Unilever sponsors composterssufficient for a locality, they can set up a signboard indicating theircontribution.In rural areas and villages, LEADERapproach (Rural Development Programme) could be acquired by community networks.There are more than 4,500 charitabletrusts and foundations in the UK providing grants, ranging from national,multi-million pound funds, to small, local trusts.Landfill Communities Fund can be accessedto compensate areas influenced by industrial activities and landfills sites.Sustainable Development Fund is a grantscheme administered by National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty(AONB) in England to realise sustainable livelihood. Challenges:· People don’t usually acknowledge importance ofwaste management unless they directly engage in reducing waste.
· Most of the people are laggards. They don’t participateunless someone does. They must be guaranteed of the set-up, so word of mouthcertainly assists.· Uncertain about consistent use of composters.Expertise needed:Fixing,using and maintaining a green cone composter doesn’t require any expertise. Pre-training is more than enough. Volunteers and people participating in campaignsand awareness programmes should portray good knowledge on green cone composterand community composting. Applying forfunds require a little expertise, to know all about legalities and fundingprocess.
Hence, the proposal requires an organised group of few seniorcomposters for training citizens on composting, financial and legaladministrators to contact and apply for funding provisions, licences, andpermits, municipal officer to manage waste and compost collection schedules.Project management: Formthe community network group. Clarify roles for all the departments. Identifyand contact the funding agencies. Apply for funds and licences if required.Contact the companies trading green cone composters for procurement. Leasespaces in farms and public parks.
Get the funds and tie up with a localuniversity and gather environmental science students to conduct awarenessprograms and campaigns with the help of senor composters near the locality totrain people. Set up composters in planned number of households and in communityparks. Establish relation with local waste management department and plan wasteand compost collection schedule. References:Departmentfor Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (2017) UK’s Carbon Footprint 1997 – 2014. July. Available athttps://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/629880/Consumption_emissions_July17_Final.
pdf(Accessed: 18 January 2018).Gilbert,J (2012) Community Funding Landscape.March. Available at http://www.wrap.
org.uk/content/funding-community-composting-and-ad-projects(Accessed: 19 January 2018).Gov.
uk(2014) Waste exemption: T23 aerobiccomposting and associated prior treatment. Available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/waste-exemption-t23-aerobic-composting-and-associated-prior-treatment(Accessed: 21 January 2018).
Lenkiewicz,Z (2017) Community composting: bringing acircular economy home (Part II). Available at:https://wasteaid.org.uk/community-composting-bringing-circular-economy-home-part-ii/(Accessed: 18 January 2018).Quested,T., Parry, A (2017) Household Food Wastein UK, 2015.
January. Available at http://www.wrap.
org.uk/content/funding-community-composting-and-ad-projects(Accessed: 19 January 2018).Tamarenergy (2018) The UK’s food waste problem.Available at: http://www.
tamar-energy.com/food-waste-recycling/the-uks-food-waste-problem/(Accessed: 18 January 2018).WRAP(2017) Estimates of Food Surplus andWaste Arisings in the UK.
January. Available at http://www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/Estimates_%20in_the_UK_Jan17.pdf(Accessed: 18 January 2018).