Kai Conscious Waiheke : a community development approach to food waste reduction

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Jeffery, Dawn A.
Stansfield, John
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Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Kai Conscious Waiheke
Waiheke Waste Resources Trust (WRT)
Waiheke Island (N.Z.)
Blackpool (Waiheke Island, N.Z.)
food waste reduction
community waste minimisation
community recycling centres
Jeffery, D. and Stansfield, J (2015) Kai Conscious Waiheke: a community development approach to food waste reduction. Whanake: The Pacific Journal of Community Development, 1(1), 77-84. Unitec Institute of Technology. Unitec ePress. Retrieved from: http://www.unitec.ac.nz/epress
Organic waste, particularly food waste, has been identified as a significant hazardous component of the waste to landfill stream. The waste represents an economic loss as well as an environmental pollutant, which is digested anaerobically to release greenhouse gasses. Moreover, the food wasted has an increasing embedded energy component. As well as the energy expended in its production and distribution, wasted food requires further energy for collection and disposal. To date, much of the effort to reduce food waste to landfill focusses on post-­‐waste solutions such as composting. While these recycling efforts are important, they cannot fully address the economic waste and the embedded energy issues. This presentation reports on a novel collaboration between local government and a grassroots community organisation that adapted community development methodology to learnings from an earlier trial. The Waiheke Resources Trust was supported by Auckland Council and the Blackpool community in launching of Kai Conscious Waiheke, a grassroots food waste reduction project. A baseline and post-­‐project Solid Waste Analysis Protocol (SWAP) contributed quantitative results, while a survey and video footage added colour and introduced a range of place-­‐making outcomes, which build social cohesion and waste-­‐reduction identity for the community. The aims of the Kai Conscious Waiheke project were to: 1. Reduce the generation of food waste at a household level on Waiheke Island; 2. Increase uptake of composting activities in households to see a reduction in food waste to landfill from Waiheke Island households; 3. Develop a comprehensive project ‘tool kit’ that other organisations can draw on to run food waste reduction projects in their communities; 4. Experiment further with community development as a methodology for solving municipal problems; and, 5. Connect the community.
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