Food Waste Pilot Project

Starting on Monday, July 22 the City and the Professor of Sustainable Food Production in the Department of Plant Agriculture at the University of Guelph and his students, will conduct a joint research project—called the Food Waste Pilot Project—to study food waste behaviour.

What’s involved?

The research team will weigh bags of organic waste, recyclables and garbage set at the curb for collection from 300 randomly selected Guelph households and administer a short survey to determine opinions, attitudes and values around food waste in the home.

Why is this important?

Food waste is a relatively new area of interest with broad reaching implications in a variety of fields that is gaining a great deal of attention globally, nationally and locally. Here’s why:

  • It’s estimated nearly 40 per cent of all food produced in Canada is wasted. 
  • Studies in the UK concluded the vast majority of consumer food waste could be avoided, and that while approximately one-fifth of food thrown away includes items such as peelings, cores and bones, the rest was once perfectly edible. 
  • On average, Canadian households waste $28 of edible food each week. 
  • Food waste represents approximately twenty percent of Guelph’s waste stream.

Source: Cut Waste, Grow Profit: Reducing Food Waste by Addressing the Disconnect between the Attitude and Behaviour of Producers and Managers of Businesses Situated along the Value Chain

The findings from this research will enable the University to apply for additional funding to complete a more comprehensive research project and will be used by the City to inform future diversion programs and strategies for long-term sustainability and cost savings.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Food Waste Pilot Project?

The Food Waste Pilot is a joint project between the City of Guelph and University of Guelph to assess the average waste produced per household per week during two collection periods. The research team will weigh bags of organic waste, recyclables and garbage set at the curb for collection from 300 randomly selected households. Then they will reach out to approximately 100 households to participate in a survey to determine opinions, attitudes and comments about food habits in the home.

Why conduct this Pilot Project?

Food waste is a relatively new area of interest with broad reaching implications in a variety of fields (food production, packaging, waste diversion, etc.) that is gaining a great deal of attention globally, nationally and locally. Here’s why:

  • It’s estimated nearly 40 per cent of all food produced in Canada is wasted.
  • Studies in the UK concluded the vast majority of consumer food waste could be avoided, and that while approximately one-fifth of food thrown away includes items such as peelings, cores and bones, the rest was once perfectly edible.
  • On average, Canadian households waste $28 of edible food each week.
  • Food waste represents approximately twenty percent of Guelph’s waste stream.

The findings from this research will enable the University to apply for additional funding to complete a more comprehensive research project and will be used by the City to inform future diversion programs and strategies for long-term sustainability and cost savings.

Where and when will the Pilot Project take place?

The Pilot Project will take place during the weeks of July 22-26 and August 6-10 in three areas of the city:

  1. the northwest (Monday collection)
  2. the northeast (Thursday collection)
  3. the southeast (Friday collection)

For more information

Solid Waste Resources
519-767-0598
waste@guelph.ca