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Food Waste Workshop Outcomes 2, Sustainable Cities Round Tables, 24 September 2008

Posted in Sustainable Cities Round Tables by Ferne Edwards on October 27th, 2008

A Food Waste Workshop was held at the Sustainable Cities Round Table – Waste Not Want Not, 24 September 2008. Three key organisations redistribute food that is still edible to people in need: SecondBite, FareShare (previously One Umbrella) and VicRelief Foodbank. Participants at the Sustainable Cities Round Table received a five minute explanation of the key issues of the growing food waste issue that links to poverty, hunger and urban environmental issues, and then worked together in small teams to answer the following four questions.

1. Can you think of ways to help better manage these issues of food waste redistribution
2. Can you think of opportunities that could occur across the city system? ie. in terms of transport, water, urban planning, etc
3. Can you think of ways to reduce the amount of food that is generated further up the chain
4. Can you think of new opportunities or businesses that could emerge from the topics mentioned above?

The responses from the second question are listed below.

Key issues:
1. Awareness – that food rescue agencies exist and have the capacity to collect surplus food, so we can start making a dint on the amount of good quality nutritious food that goes to waste.
2. Funding – the cost to run our organisation is increasing, and will continue to do so. This is of vital importance as we begin to tackle to problem on a much larger scale. Collaboration, information sharing and pooling of resources will be key in addressing this.
3. Logistics – Not so much a problem but an area that will need a lot of focus (money!) and collaboration as we implement statewide strategies, incorporating multiple agencies and both internal and external logistics companies.

2. Can you think of opportunities that could occur across the city system? Ie. in terms of transport, water, urban planning, etc.
    Edible landscape – trees with edible fruits and parks
    Community gardens
    Grow your own
    Information systems about where excess food is to cut down the length and time of transport (something similar to the op shop blog)

    Use council sponsor compost to earn money to offset collection
    Turn access lanes in suburbs  to create green spaces for gardens
    Plant edible plants in common space
    Regular pick-ups form restaurants and other businesses with waste – all in the one trip (rather than separate runs to these places)
    Concentrating restaurants (eg. in food courts) so pick up of waste in easier
    Encourage better use of….
    Encourage a waste neutral culture
    Need and want to be communicated
    Kitchen gardens in schools
    Use public transport infrastructure to support waste esp. at non-peak times
    More local composing locations esp. in park/picnic areas
    Responsible food services in restaurants
    Specialised vehicles
    Mobile collector, ie. out of date food
    Education/awareness campaign about redistribution network
    Shopping credits for volunteers at major supermarket chains
    Need a coordination/organising structure
    Community garden and market for produce grown at home, often in excess
    Marketing value to restaurants of donating excess food
    Community food exchange – funded through local council
    Rooftop worm farm systems
    Grow more food locally in wasted urban space
    Community development connectedness by growing food locally
    Grow/produce that we usually import
    Compost points along transports routes
    Encourage people to source food locally/grow it where possible
    University campuses dedicated bins near food halls
    Mobile waste and reuse containers
    Ideas for collecting food in multiple tenancy buildings
    Use refrigerated trucks that deliver to ….market for pick-up of recyclable …. and deliver  to processor.
    Distribution depots should become distributor of waste food as well as new food.

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