Amount of biowaste to be monitored at the main restaurant

The LUT main restaurant will begin monitoring the amount of biowaste generated on a daily basis. The monitoring will be implemented in cooperation with the provider of the restaurant services, Sodexo Oy. The daily measurement results will be displayed on a special biowaste board to be installed on the wall of the main restaurant.

The board is divided into two sections. One will contain the daily, monthly and annual amount of biowaste generated per person. The other will illustrate the amount of waste produced each day using a diagram showing the amount of waste, in grams, generated within one week per person.

Only the amount of biowaste generated by customers in the main restaurant will be indicated in the board. The aim is to reduce the amount of biowaste by half. This can be achieved by cutting the amount of biowaste to less than 20 grams
per day per person.

Based on measurements carried out by Sodexo in autumn 2012, the amount of biowaste generated could be as high as 60 to 70 kilos per day. The results varied on a daily basis, as certain dishes, such as chicken legs, meant a significant increase in the amount waste.

Reducing waste in the preparation and consumption of food as well as other restaurant activities is a question with both ecological and financial implications. From the perspective of the university, the issue is primarily ecological.

Biowaste should only contain food, the rest is energy fraction

"By monitoring the amount of biowaste, we want to make people think about the amount of energy consumed when food is grown and transported, prepared and, finally, thrown away. At the same time, we wish to promote the sorting of types of waste," explains Eeva Paju, Restaurant Manager of the Sodexo restaurant at LUT.

Paju stresses that only food waste should be sorted as biowaste. Serviettes and other waste are better utilised as energy fraction, even though biodegradable materials are often used in the manufacturing of the products.

"To reduce greenhouse emissions, all dry materials, such as cardboard products and serviettes, should be sorted as energy fraction. Our life-cycle modelling of the utilisation of comparable waste materials has shown that the burning of relatively dry waste can act as a substitute for the use of fossil fuel in energy production, thus reducing greenhouse emissions," explains Professor Mika Horttanainen from LUT Energy.

"Composting, however, uses energy and generates greenhouse emissions. The composting of food waste recycles the nutrients contained in the food, but the amount of nutrients in paper and cardboard is very little," adds Horttanainen.