The average family in Guelph generates approximately 2.98 kg (6.5 lbs) in avoidable food waste per week. That’s enough food to provide an additional five adult meals a week, and monthly enough wasted money to pay a cell phone bill.
Currently, the only way for the City to gather data on the food waste going into green carts is through visual or manual waste audits. These are labour intensive and only consider a small sample of waste the City collects. To design effective waste reduction programs, we need better, more consistent data to identify trends and measure change.
We need your help to find a solution.
How might the City of Guelph consistently collect detailed household-level data on avoidable food loss/waste or incorrect sorting in the organics collection stream (green cart), that can be used to help households understand their own food waste and inform city-wide food waste reduction projects?
The technology solution will automate the waste audit process ensuring data is collected on avoidable food waste, as well as organic stream contaminants, for every organic cart each time it is collected.
The successful applicant will partner with the City of Guelph’s Solid Waste Resource department to design, prototype and test a solution. The solution should leverage existing technologies used by the City’s waste collection fleet (e.g. GIS software, RFID tags in collection carts, scale software, waste collection app) to connect food waste data to individual households.
Protection of residential privacy is critical in the development of any new waste data collection solution.