GLRPPR Sector Resource: Household-level dynamics of food waste production and related beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours in Guelph, Ontario
Household-level dynamics of food waste production and related beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours in Guelph, Ontario
It has been estimated that Canadians waste $27 billion of food annually, and that half of that waste occurs at the household level (Gooch et al., 2010). There are social, environmental, and economic implications for this scale of food waste, and source separation of organic waste is an increasingly common municipal intervention. There is relatively little research that assesses the dynamics of household food waste (particularly in Canada). The purpose of this study is to combine observations of organic, recyclable, and garbage waste production rates to survey results of food waste-related beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours at the household level in the mid-sized municipality of Guelph, Ontario. Waste weights and surveys were obtained from 68 households in the summer of 2013. The results of this study indicate multiple relationships between food waste production and household shopping practices, food preparation behaviours, household waste management practices, and food-related attitudes, beliefs, and lifestyles. Notably, we observed that food awareness, waste awareness, family lifestyles, and convenience lifestyles were related to food waste production. We conclude that it is important to understand the diversity of factors that can influence food wasting behaviours at the household level in order to design waste management systems and policies to reduce food waste.
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Waste Management 35, 207-217.
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