Oluwatomilola Ladele Successfully Defends His MSc Thesis
The HEAL would like to congratulate Oluwatomilola Ladele who successfully defended his thesis under the supervision of Dr. Jamie Baxter and Dr. Jason Gilliland in 2020.
Oluwatomilola Ladele successfully defended his MSc thesis titled Understanding the Support for Municipal Green Bin Programs. Oluwatomilola completed his MSc in the Department of Geography under the supervision of Dr. Jamie Baxter and Dr. Jason Gilliland. During his studies, he attempted to understand green bin support in and between a city with a green bin and a city without a green bin.
Around the world, the amount of food wasted continues to increase creating several known economic, social and environmental issues. To combat some of the economic and particularly environmental issues (such as greenhouse gas emissions), cities around the world have implemented food waste diversion programs (commonly known as green bin programs). Green bin programs help divert food waste from landfill. However, in Ontario, Canada, not all municipalities have green bin programs – a reason for the inconsistency is linked with the support for the program. Support for diversion programs (e.g., blue bin) is a common theme observed in waste diversion literature.
Therefore, this thesis attempts to understand green bin support in and between a city with a green bin and a city without a green bin. This study was conducted in two similar, mid-sized Ontario cities – London (without green bin) and Kitchener-Waterloo (with green bin). Surveys were sent to random households across both cities to understand: i) the predictors of green bin support and, ii) the difference in green bin support between both cities. The study used several variables (such as the amount of food people reported they wasted, food overprovisioning, having time and space to sort food waste and concern for environmental impact etc.) normally found in food waste and waste diversion studies to predict green bin support. Environmental concerns, convenience and norms favouring green bins were significant predictors of support in all models. Alongside these variables, age, food waste education and the amount of food wasted were also significant predictors of green bin support for both London and the pooled sample. Additionally, Kitchener-Waterloo residents were more supportive of a green bin program.
The findings suggest that if municipalities are looking to improve green bin support, an important step to take is educating their residents on food waste reduction. Food waste education has a two-fold impact: 1) it makes people aware of their food wasting amount (and its consequences) so they can actively try to reduce it and, ii) it shows the (environmental) benefits of a green bin program thus improving the support. Future research should investigate whether green bin support translates to green bin behaviour.