Did you know 2.9 trillion pounds of food are wasted each year, which is equal to one-third of the world’s food supply? This is just one of the many facts you can learn in an award-winning online video about solid waste made by Utah State University engineering student Nathan Guyman.
The video was made for an international contest aimed at educating the public about the production and disposal of solid waste.
“For example one of the biggest ones that I have seen a lot of - I’ve done before too and I’m trying to do better at is food waste," said Guymon. "Often we buy a lot of food or make more than we need and often that gets thrown away. My main thing with reducing waste is to look around you and see if there is anything you can reduce, while still getting the benefit out of it, but generating less waste in the process.”
The international solid waste association promotes practices such as those in Sweden, where solid waste is burned for energy instead of going to a landfill. Guymon and others from the Sustainable Waste to bio-products Engineering Center are working on a similar project in Salt Lake City.
The Central Valley water reclamation facility hopes to use solid waste from local grocery chains to produce natural gas from food waste instead of it going to the landfill. These and other interdisciplinary projects will be discussed at the solid waste world congress this week in Baltimore, Maryland.
“It’s an international society made of engineers, biologists, city planners, different companies; for example, Nestle and General Motors and their waste management departments. Because, well – everything we do makes waste, so it’s an association made up of different people from all different aspects of society that deal with the waste," said Guymon.