Episode 44 – German Waste Disposal, Food Waste, Logistics


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Topic:  JP shares his challenges with a recent move of premises.  Many of the frustrations involve the discarding of waste in Germany; the myriad of bins and methods of discarding and the confusions that go with their use is but one of the challenges.  The biggest challenge, besides JP holding the opinion that his landlords were assholes and all that entails, was discarding larger items.  Since it is so difficult to shed yourself of such items, they have a tendency to stock-pile.  It took a bin that held 5 cubic-meters (which was filled with 6 cubic-meters) and a dozen muelsacks that were filled to capacity and had to be purchased separately.

Our call-in guest, Denis from Whales, shares his experiences at a recent conference and the information being shared.  Of particular was Denis’ listening to a talk on food waste and the CO2 being generated by the food waste.  JP’s thinking immediately gravitates to the carbon produced as a result of the value-chain of food; planting, tending, harvesting, processing, and the logistics involved in getting it to the consumer.  However, the talk was actually about the CO2 generated by the decomposition of food.  This led to a lively debate of whether this really adds to the overall carbon; after all, the plants consume carbon from the atmosphere and could only release the amount they consumed.  This, as opposed to carbon which is captured underground and released.

Our second guest is Dimitri from Texas.  Having grown-up in a farming community, his observation is the closer you are to where you grow your food, the more efficient you are at consuming it and the waste is a lot less.  With regards to carbon, Dimitri’s opinion was carbon in and carbon out, that it was close to neutral.  His big concern regarding waste was how can there be so much, yet people go hungry.  It all comes down to logistics.  It costs a lot to move food without it spoiling.  And that cost has to be recouped.  It’s difficult for that to happen in the poorest parts of the world.

With the topic gravitating between genetically modified food and towards logistics, JP wonders why “bulk/family” sizes don’t exist in Europe.  This would certainly cut down on waste (excess production and packaging), lead to lower prices for the consumer, and generally be a good thing.  These questions, and more, remain unanswered…


Hosts: Joseph Paris, Founder of the OpEx Society & The XONITEK Group of Companies
Benjamin Taylor,  Managing Partner of RedQuadrant.

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