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Tackling the scourge of food waste

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New and innovative ideas are being implemented worldwide to deal with the mounting problem of food waste.

A staggering one-third, or 1.3 billion tonnes of food, is wasted around the world annually. The financial and environmental costs are unsustainable.

In North America, Waste Solutions Canada is part of a collaboration project that aims to ‘close the loop’ on food waste by converting 1,000,000 pounds of it – by 2020 – into soil for landscaping properties managed by real estate giant, Bentall Kennedy. The pair are working with Hop Compost, which pioneers inner-city composting technology.

“We are taking a new approach and looking beyond ‘business as usual’ solutions in the waste management industry,” said Michelle Brown, Vice President, Property Management for Bentall Kennedy.

From next year, Bentall Kennedy will begin its ‘organics collection service’ at properties across the Greater Toronto Area.

“Waste Solutions Canada is positioned at the forefront of the Canadian waste management industry that is evolving and ready for invigoration,” added Jason Wilcox, managing partner of Waste Solutions Canada. “We are very pleased to be partnered with Bentall Kennedy and Hop Compost and, by delivering innovative technology and improved efficiency, we are aligned on driving environmental stewardship, maximizing diversion, and contributing to greater sustainability.”

Technology is transforming food waste into a variety of valuable bioproducts. California’s Greenbelt Resources Corporation is even using its tech – for a project in Indonesia – to convert it into a protein fit for human consumption.

Governments are also pursuing policies that can combat the problem. With the Food Waste Erased report, by American NGO, Energy Vision, acting as an important guide for decision-makers on the issue.

Australia, which is losing $20 billion every year due to food waste, has set a target to half the amount it creates by 2030.

This challenge of food waste also has to be taken on at an individual level. And the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has advice on how people can make a difference.

The Ugly Fruit and Veg project is also a creative initiative to raise awareness about the 20-40% of produce wasted around the world because it is sees as not being aesthetically pleasing enough.

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