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A methodology for sustainable management of food waste

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posted on 06.10.2016 by Guillermo Garcia-Garcia, Elliot Woolley, Shahin Rahimifard, James Colwill, Rod White, Louise Needham
As much as one third of the food intentionally grown for human consumption is never consumed and is therefore wasted, with significant environmental, social and economic ramifications. An increasing number of publications in this area currently consider different aspects of this critical issue, and generally focus on proactive approaches to reduce food waste, or reactive solutions for more efficient waste management. In this context, this paper takes a holistic approach with the aim of achieving a better understanding of the different types of food waste, and using this knowledge to support informed decisions for more sustainable management of food waste. With this aim, existing food waste categorizations are reviewed and their usefulness are analysed. A systematic methodology to identify types of food waste through a nine-stage categorization is used in conjunction with a version of the waste hierarchy applied to food products. For each type of food waste characterized, a set of waste management alternatives are suggested in order to minimize environmental impacts and maximize social and economic benefits. This decision-support process is demonstrated for two case studies from the UK food manufacturing sector. As a result, types of food waste which could be managed in a more sustainable manner are identified and recommendations are given. The applicability of the categorisation process for industrial food waste management is discussed.

Funding

This research is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council(EPSRC) UK through the grant EP/K030957/1.

History

School

  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Published in

Waste and Biomass Valorization

Citation

GARCIA-GARCIA, G., 2016. A methodology for sustainable management of food waste. Waste and Biomass Valorization, 8 (6), pp. 2209–2227.

Publisher

Springer © The Author(s)

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Acceptance date

07/09/2016

Publication date

2016-10-25

Notes

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

ISSN

1877-2641

eISSN

1877-265X

Language

en

Licence

Exports