Editorial: Waste Not

Emily Atkins is Editor of Solid Waste & Recycling

Did you know that about 30 per cent of the world’s usable food is wasted?

That’s an alarming figure, especially as we are increasingly aware of food shortages in some parts of the world and food insecurity in many others, including right here at home.

Our feature on page 10, “Stop the rot”, examines the issue through the lens of a report recently prepared by Value Chain Management International (VCMI) and Second Harvest. I strongly recommend reading the feature and then taking a look at the report, especially the technical annex.

Not only is the report thoroughly researched and extremely well written, the technical document lays out a blueprint for solving the crisis. It pulls no punches, placing responsibility for a culture of waste firmly on many parties in the supply chain.

For those in waste management and recycling, especially on the organics collection, recycling or disposal side, it’s worth a read. If the food production industry and governments pick up on these suggestions, your reality as service providers for organics waste collection and disposal will surely change.

While the report does not advocate sudden or drastic change, increases in waste pricing, organics bans and enforced access to green bin programs are some of the ideas it suggests could help alleviate the crisis. The report also highlights that finding solutions to food waste needs to be a collaborative effort from both government and industry.

I’d be interested in hearing what members of the waste management and recycling industries think about its findings and recommendations. Please drop me a line with your thoughts.