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London Free Press: Western University researchers study impact of food waste

Western University, food waste, Paul van der Werf, environment, sustainability, food sustainability, Jason GillilandThere’s no question; efforts to reduce the amount of household organic waste reaching London’s W12A landfill will play a critical role in addressing the looming capacity problem on Manning Drive.

More than one tonne of waste is produced per person in London, according to City of London numbers. Around 45 per cent of that waste is diverted from the landfill through waste reduction, recycling, and composting programs, but the rest is contributing to an increasingly time-sensitive problem — W12A, a dumping ground for London garbage since 1977, is on pace to reach maximum volume by 2025.

The largest chunk of household waste in the landfill (another 45 per cent, according to the City) is organic, which means food waste is a major culprit.

Discussions at city hall over the past few years seem to be focused on addressing trash-related issues by expanding waste diversion programs. Those ideas, including the introduction of a green bin program for organics, are still being considered.

But what if we’ve been asking the wrong questions? A couple of Western University researchers have a hunch that’s the case. The right question, they believe, is this:

Why are Londoners throwing away so much food to begin with?

Read the full article here.

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