Community-Based Food Waste Modeling and Planning Framework for Urban Regions
Food waste management (FWM) is a growing challenge in urban regions. Despite increasing concerns about the ensuing environmental pressure, economic inefficiency, and social disparity, quantitative studies of FWM are still limited. This study proposes a scalable model of food waste generation and community-based planning framework that aims to provide data references and policy strategies that help transform urban challenges of FWM into opportunities. In contrast to the existing tools and programs that only focus on large generators (e.g., supermarkets), this study proposes an inclusive approach that also includes small generators (e.g., convenience stores and restaurants) and pairs food waste generators with local users for food reuse and recovery. The generic model was implemented in a case study in Chicago, where residents were found to generate nearly twice as much food waste as businesses on an annual basis. The Chicago case study also demonstrates the spatial mismatch between food waste generators and potential users, suggesting the need of system-wide coordination and planning as well as the inventory modeling at the community level.
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