Banyule City Council: Districts and lifestyles waste evaluation

Food waste occurs at all stages of the food supply chain and in developed countries around 40 per cent of all food intended for human consumption is estimated to end up as waste. Food waste is a significant concern for councils, as it comprises up to 50 per cent of municipal waste in bins. In Australia, it is estimated that households throw out 2.7 million tonnes of food into landfill.

Food waste occurs through everyday practices of buying, cooking and storing. To reduce food waste, it has been suggested that these everyday practices may need to be shifted. Therefore understanding food waste is less about what is being put in the bin, and more about the upstream practices that are performed which generate the waste.

The study investigated practices relating to the purchase, storage, preparation and disposal of food over one week in 24 households within three key districts in Banyule City Council (Ivanhoe, West Heidelberg and Greensborough). The study aimed to develop targeted programs to strategically reduce food waste across municipalities. Households were recruited through Banyule City Council via a range of methods (i.e., newspaper, the waste education networks and social media) and participated through a mix of face to face interviews and completion of a household food and food waste diary over one week. The project team included RMIT University’s Centre for Design as consultants to develop the diary, to analyse the data, and prepare a final research report.

The ‘hands-on’ approach (the actual observation of waste and recording) had a positive impact upon many of the households. Providing residents with the ability to observe, record and report their daily activities, practices and actions around food planning, purchase, storage, cooking and eating may be beneficial. The biggest change for participants was the realisation that they must plan their food purchasing and not to buy on impulse thus avoiding unnecessary food items that may/or may not be used.

There appeared little to no difference between socioeconomic groups thus suggesting that there is little evidence for communicating in different ways to each group. Education programs should focus on household planning of weekly shopping and not fall into the trap of purchasing store specials or buying extra when it is not needed.

For more information contact Margaret Morgan, Waste Education Co-ordinator, Banyule City Council  on 9490 4588.

For more information about the Metro Fund contact metro.fund@mwmg.vic.gov.au or ph: 8698 9800.

 

Project resources:

  • Avoiding food waste case study - Banyule Case Study 254 KB

    This case study showcases a Banyule family household and the planning, shopping, cooking, food waste and results that were implemented through the Banyule City Council Metro Fund Round 2 'Districts, Lifestyles and Avoiding Waste' project.    

  • Show me how to use a compost bin case study - Banyule Case Study 338 KB

    This case study showcases a Banyule family household and the planning, shopping, cooking, food waste and results that were implemented through the Banyule City Council Metro Fund Round 2 'Districts, Lifestyles and Avoiding Waste' project.   

  • Food waste avoidance fridges case study - Banyule Case Study 351 KB

    This case study showcases a Banyule family household and the planning, shopping, cooking, food waste and results that were implemented through the Banyule City Council Metro Fund Round 2 'Districts, Lifestyles and Avoiding Waste' project.

  • Good planning saves time case study - Banyule Case Study 266 KB

    This case study showcases a Banyule family household and the planning, shopping, cooking, food waste and results that were implemented through the Banyule City Council Metro Fund Round 2 'Districts, Lifestyles and Avoiding Waste' project.   

  • Districts and Lifestyles MF R2 Final Report - Banyule 1.5 MB

    This final report outlines the outcomes, findings, project highlights and recommendations for the Banyule City Council Metro Fund Round 2 'Districts, Lifestyles and Avoiding Waste' project. The project aimed to investigate practices relating to the purchase, storage, preparation and disposal of food in order to gain insights to develop targeted programs to strategically reduce food waste across municipalities.    

  • Avoiding Food Waste Diary - Banyule Promotional item 893 KB

    This document showcases the Food Waste Diary developed by the Banyule City Council for the Metro Fund Round 2 'Districts, Lifestyles and Avoiding Waste' project. This diary includes step by step instructions on how to record and audit your food waste.   

  • Even the most organised household case study - Banyule Case Study 369 KB

    This case study showcases a Banyule family household and the planning, shopping, cooking, food waste and results that were implemented through the Banyule City Council Metro Fund Round 2 'Districts, Lifestyles and Avoiding Waste' project.

  • Food waste diary and data collection kit - Banyule Toolkit 2.3 MB

    This document provides an overview of the food waste diary and data collection kit, and associated results, developed by the Banyule City Council for the Metro Fund Round 2 'Districts, Lifestyles and Avoiding Waste' project.

  • The balancing act case study - Banyule Case Study 287 KB

    This case study showcases a Banyule family household and the planning, shopping, cooking, food waste and results that were implemented through the Banyule City Council Metro Fund Round 2 'Districts, Lifestyles and Avoiding Waste' project.    

Last updated: 04/03/2016