How Do You Manage Food Waste At Home

How Do You Manage Food Waste At Home

Each home zero waste strategy must include effective food and organic waste management.

Food waste accounts for approximately 8% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and accounts for one-third of all food produced globally.

It is a significant urban source of methane, a highly potent GHG. Homes can recover and process organic waste by separating it from dry recyclables such as plastic and glass.

Organic waste is also a valuable resource for homes because it can be used to generate renewable energy, reduce hunger through food surplus programmes, restore soil nutrients and moisture, and much more.

Homes in cities such as Vancouver, Dubai, Buenos Aires, and San Diego have aggressive waste diversion targets, with a focus on organic waste.

How can food waste be managed at home

Set ambitious food- and organic-waste reduction goals

Rather than being established separately, a food- and organic-waste reduction goal is usually set as part of a city’s overall waste reduction goals.

The goal can be an absolute reduction or, more commonly, a decrease in the total percentage of organics disposed of.

Include wider systemic benefits and revenue-generation potential in your cost-benefit analysis of organic waste diversion and treatment:

Investment in organic waste treatment can be costly, but when considered across the urban system, the benefits of diverting and treating food waste and organics outweigh the costs.

Recommended: How To Reduce Food Waste In Canteen

Organic waste diverted from landfill reduces disposal and site maintenance costs while also extending the operational life of the site and equipment.

Furthermore, establishing separate, efficient organic collection and treatment systems allows homes to reap significant benefits.

Examine your home’s organic waste sources and the types of organic waste they produce.

Homes can inform authorities about how to reduce and divert food waste and track the effectiveness of these efforts by measuring and understanding food waste and its sources.

The Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard provides a framework for households to use when collecting this data.

Methods for quantifying and characterising organic waste typically target a large number of commercial and residential generators to approximate results for the entire household.

Also read: How To Reduce Food Waste In Hotels

When completed, the data would be analysed by authorities to identify the largest producers of organic waste, trends, and the best opportunities for organic waste recovery.

This is a critical step in informing the approach to diversion and treatment, including effective collection, transfer, and treatment logistics.

Using incentives and nudges to encourage – or mandate – organic waste separation: To maximise diversion.

And be effective, food- and organic-waste systems require large-scale waste generators to participate in organics separation.

And collection schemes in order to provide large quantities of high-quality organic waste (which is not contaminated with other materials).

Incentives and nudges to encourage participation can be operational, financial, or a combination of the two, but measures that rely on positive reinforcement typically outperform punitive measures such as fines.

Read also: Causes Of Food Waste In Restaurants

Invest in treatment technology that is appropriate for your community, and look for ways to leverage existing treatment infrastructure:

Determine the best type of organics processing facility for your home expected waste stream, as well as the available budget and space.

Composting and anaerobic digestion are the two most common methods of processing organic waste.

Locate a treatment facility near your home and existing waste-management sites: Because of its high water content, organic waste is heavy. Transporting organic waste over longer distances is less cost effective.

It is critical for the viability of an organic waste processing facility to be located close to the city and near existing waste-management sites.

This helps to reduce traffic and other operations-related disruptions.

Local transfer stations are a short-term solution for homes in cities that are unable to locate the processing facility.

These collect waste from a number of local haulers, allowing trucks travelling to distant facilities to operate at full capacity and easing the financial burden on local haulers until a more local processing facility is built.

Read also: Examples Of Liquid Waste In The Kitchen


Buying less is one of the easiest methods to avoid food waste as a consumer. A stuffed fridge may appear attractive, but it may result in food waste if the household cannot consume all of the food.

Taking two shorter trips to the grocery store each week rather than a single long trip can help people avoid buying too much food and reduce waste.


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