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East London Garden Society
Idea for research
Idea for research
The East London Garden Society (ELGS) is a grassroots gardening community in East London aiming to promote gardening and provide a more sustainable environment. In light of the new Food Waste Legislation that will be enacted by 2025, which mandates separate food waste recycling, local boroughs are required to implement a feasible solution to managing food waste. ELGS came up with a new initiative to use existing technology to recycle food waste directly and more efficiently. These machines (e.g. PRM, Tumblebug) convert organic waste into soil conditioner and other assets for gardening – which can then be directly used by the public. They can also reduce carbon emissions significantly. The organisation has ties with the Tower Hamlets council and hopes to start implementing this initiative in the borough, and potentially scaling up.

The organisation hopes to better understand current attitudes towards and behaviours in food waste management to enhance the feasibility of the project. They would like to explore people’s perceptions towards potentially using these machines, specifically the barriers and facilitators to uptake. Behaviour change frameworks can be used to further understand this. The interested student may also have the opportunity to interview individuals and local organisations to gauge community willingness.

The organisation is also interested in understanding specifically what types of organic waste are put into the machine, how people would use the biomass outputs, and how often they would use the machine. A quantitative or mixed method approach could be used to explore this area. A review on types of direct food waste management technology and user experiences may also help the organisation.
Impact of idea
Understanding users’ attitudes and behaviours will improve the implementation of this initiative in the local community. Having concrete data about usage and experiences will also benefit the organisation’s application for funding and future scaling-up.

For service users, involving them in the development of the initiative may improve user experience, and also spread awareness of the importance of efficient food waste management for the environment. Community participation is a major factor in the borough’s buy-in of this initiative. Behavioural change throughout communities is also key to creating real and lasting impacts on the environment.

In the long term, the organisation hopes to create a model of how food waste can be recycled efficiently, which can be implemented in other boroughs, and contribute to efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

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Application process
Application criteria
Is this project fully accessible to students with the disabilities?