Climate Change on the Menu? A Retrospective Look at the Development of South Australian Municipal Food Waste Policy

By Christian John Reynolds, Kirrilly Thompson, John Boland and Drew Dawson.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Australian households are throwing out more than $5 billion worth of food each year, with over 40% of household food wasted. This non-consumed food constitutes a waste of resources and energy that needlessly contribute to Australia’s ecological and carbon footprints. To further complicate matters, the management, transport, and disposal of this non-consumed food is a problem that does not have a comprehensive federally legislated and governed solution. Instead, the collection and processing of municipal food waste is organised by local area councils with support and additional funding from state and federal governments. This has resulted in conflicting waste practices across Australia.
This paper investigates the development of waste practices in South Australia, with the objective to understand how this particular state has developed a high level of political commitment to positive environmental action while other Australian states have taken a more conservative position. Opening with a broad discussion upon contemporary food waste policy in Australia, this paper will then delve into a historical discussion on the development of South Australia’s municipal waste system in conjunction with an evaluation of the present municipal food waste disposal options that are available within South Australian homes.

Keywords: Food Waste, Municipal, Household, South Australian Disposal Options, Composting, Landfill, Animal Disposal, GHG Emissions, Zero Waste

The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.101-112. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 725.059KB).

Christian John Reynolds

PhD Candidate, Division of Education, Arts and Social Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia

Christian Reynolds is a PhD candidate at the University of South Australia. In his PhD, Christian is examining the economic and environmental impacts of food consumption, specifically food waste. In 2009, Christian completed his Honours Degree in international studies at the University of Adelaide. His research topic concerned the political power of food in international relations. In 2008, Christian graduated from the University of Adelaide with a double degree in Eeonomics and international studies, reading part of this program of study at Newcastle University, UK.


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