Food Waste at Scout Camps

Composting is a simple action that can be taken on Scout Camps which can have a big impact on your overall footprint. Scout Camps, while feeding many mouths, can also produce lots of food scraps. Collect food scraps separately to general waste and recycling at your next Scout activity and help to reduce the waste we send to landfill.

Why we collect food scraps separately:

Some fast facts on food waste from the Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment:

  • Food waste costs the economy around $36.6 billion each year.
  • Each year we waste around 7.6 million tonnes of food across the supply and consumption chain – this wastage equals about 312kg per person, equivalent to around one in five bags of groceries or $2,000 to $2,500 per household per year.
  • Food waste accounts for approximately 3% of Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Australia uses around 2600 gigalitres of water to grow food that is wasted – this equates to the volume of water in five Sydney Harbours.
  • The amount of land used to grow wasted food covers in excess of 25 million hectares, a landmass larger than the state of Victoria.

When food waste is sent to landfill, it breaks down and creates greenhouse gas emissions including methane, which is more potent than carbon dioxide.

By diverting our food waste from Scout Camps away from landfill and collecting it for composting, we can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

How to collect:
First be sure to know what food scraps you are collecting. This may vary depending on where it is going. A simple sign with pictures can be attached to a bin lid to make it clear to everyone at camp. 
A 10-20L bucket can work well as a caddy on camp, it can also be sealed and transported home.

An example of a sign used at Rover Camps:

Organic Waste Sign

Where to empty it:

  • The best case is that a family of your Scout Group has a compost bin at home and is happy to take the extra food scraps as food for their worms. 
  • Check with the campsite you're visiting to see whether they have composting facilities on site.
  • Check with a community garden local to your Scout Group to see if they would be happy to take your food scraps.
  • If you live in a council that collects Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO), then the food scraps can be put into your green bin and it will be collected by the council.
  • An app called Sharewaste puts people with food scraps in touch with people that have composting. Be sure to make contact prior to the camp to check what scraps they are happy taking.

What to do with leftover edible food:

If you have leftover food that is still edible, consider donating it to Food Bank. Food donated to them helps people in need, with mixed grocery hampers assisting thousands of Victorian families and individuals each year.

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