In today’s world, it is crucial that we address the threat of growing environmental concerns. Managing food waste makes up a major part of this process. Globally, food accounts for about 1300 million tonnes of waste materials and this number is roughly equal to about one-third of the entire food produced. There are about 1 billion hungry people on this planet who can be fed with only a fraction of that food lost. While it is imperative that we try to reduce this wastage in general, sometimes it is unavoidable and that is why it is important to have proper food waste management systems.
Read on to know more about food waste disposal and how you can contribute to this cause.
Food Waste Management
What is classified as food waste?
As the name suggests, food waste refers to any of the eatables that are either lost or wasted. This loss can happen at any or all of the four following stages of the supply chain-
Production- This occurs mostly during growing food in agriculture or during animal rearing.
Processing- This happens in the processing plants where the food is prepared and packaged.
Retailing- This includes losses resulting from shipping, transportation and during selling.
Consuming- This is the food waste that is created by the end consumer. An example is the foods that remain uneaten at our dinner tables.
While the wastage occurs at all of the above-mentioned steps, the main area of focus in this article is on the handling of food waste by the consumers.
How South Korea handle the problem?
One of the countries which have revolutionized the way in which food waste is handled in South Korea. Since 2005, the South Korean Government banned its people from dumping their food waste in the landfill. In 2013, food waste recycling using special bags and machines was made compulsory. This move resulted in the South Korean recycling about 95% of their collective food wastes, much higher than the 2% that was recycled in 1995.
The average South Korean generates about 130 kgs of food waste annually. One way the country does waste management is by the use of smart bins. These disposal bins are fitted with RFID technology and are installed throughout Seoul. Waste is collected in these bins in a special biodegradable bag and the individual is charged a fee, calculated on the basis of the weight of the food waste. This waste is then mostly converted into fertilizers and biofuel and used in farming.
This efficient system using technology has helped South Korea curb its food waste problem and it is a model that can be followed in Singapore as well to increase waste management efficiency.
Can Singapore do the same?
The answer is yes.
According to the National Environment Agency (NEA), while food waste makes up about 10% of the total waste generated in Singapore, currently only about 17% of that is being recycled. The rest is incinerated and that is not good for the environment. In the year 2018, the total food waste generated in the country was 763,100 tonnes, of which only 126,200 tonnes (17%) were recycled. This definitely leaves a lot of room for improvement.
There are concrete steps that both individuals and corporations can take to start being mindful of the food waste management process. One such company that helps in the aspect of food waste management is Westcom Solutions Pte Ltd. They manufacture food waste disposal machines that are designed to tackle this problem in an efficient manner.
How Westcom Solutions can help?
Individuals interested in food waste recycling often find that they do not have the required means of doing so. The Westcom food waste disposal machines make it easy for even households to recycle and compost their waste in an environmentally friendly way. Additionally, this range of machines is also suitable for businesses and organizations that have to deal with food waste.
Westcom has a range of Waste-To-Fertilizer (WTF) machines that convert leftover food to eco-friendly fertilizer to be used in farming. The machines use a special strain of micro-bites to decompose the food to odourless organic fertilizer. These machines, also known as food waste machines, ferment and reduce the input waste volume by 90% and gives about 10% in weight as high-quality fertilizer output. This entire cycle happens within 24 hours.
How they work
Other machines in the market use chemicals to break down the food waste and may sometimes take up to a week to complete the entire process. However, the Westcom food waste machines are more energy-efficient when compared to such machines and because they use micro-bites instead of harsh chemicals for the decomposition process, they are far more environmentally friendly as well. Additionally, these micro-bites are especially suitable to tackle the oily Singaporean food, thus increasing the efficiency.
Westcom provides several food waste machines, each with a different capacity to suit various needs. Hence the low capacity machine (<50 kg) is suitable for households and small businesses and the large capacity (>1000 kg) machines can be used in bigger institutions.
Some of the places where the Westcom food waste machines can be used are as follows-
- School and college cafeteria
- Catering business
- Individual households, etc.
Thus, these machines are not only environmentally friendly and portable, but the varying range of capacity means that there is a food waste machine available for every need.
Food waste is a big problem across the globe and it is upon us to find viable solutions to this issue. In Singapore, Westcom can help you take a step in the right direction by reducing the incineration of wasted food. The Westcom range of food waste machines is already being used to convert a significant portion of the food wasted into organic fertilizers in a time-efficient way. However, to have a significant positive impact on our environment, more people need to start recycling their food waste. If you are an individual or an organization looking to change how you dispose your food wastes, Westcom Solutions can assist you in the process.
Click here to find out more about our food waste solutions and how we can be of help to you.