Developing Opportunities for Engagement through Food Waste Recycling

Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability Incorporated Association
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the 12th Annual Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability Conference 2012 - Mobilise and Motivate: Building Momentum for a Holistic Sustainability Approach, 2012, pp. 2 - 10
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On-campus recycling of organic food waste can contribute to a more sustainable campus through: reduced emissions and costs from sending waste to landfill; and recovery of nutrients and embodied energy in food refuse for use as a fertiliser. Despite these benefits, the implementation of institutional scale recycling of food waste lags significantly behind advances in recycling of glass, plastics and paper products, possibly due in part to more challenging behavioural and systemic changes that are required of stakeholders. Where sustainability initiatives require rethinking of established systems and practices, evidence suggests that careful management of the change process may be beneficial to long-term success and stakeholder ownership, resulting in increased momentum for sustainability. This paper discusses a stakeholder engagement strategy developed for the implementation of a BioRegen onsite food waste recycling system at the James Cook University Townsville campus in 2012. The approach is informed by theoretical work from Dunphy, Griffiths and Benn (2007) and Senge, Scharmer, Jaworski, & Flowers (2010), which values iterative consultation with stakeholders and a holistic approach to cultural change on campus. Beyond the BioRegen initiative, this approach foregrounds the implementation of food waste recycling as an opportunity to facilitate a campus culture of sustainability through which future initiatives may gain support and, ultimately, emerge organically. This broader agenda includes integration within teaching and research and supporting sustainability champions within the University community in a peer-to-peer engagement process.
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