Waste Management in Catering — ASN Events

Waste Management in Catering (13365)

Daniel Ryland

Much geographical research has been dedicated to the creation and disposal of waste, and to food systems and networks.   However literature combining these realms is relatively recent, often considering either the national and global networks of disposal and waste management, or household waste disposal systems.  Yet an important instance in which food production and disposal intersect can be found in hospitality.  In particular, the catering industry represents opportunities to reflect on the production and disposal of waste in a context where the practices of food production and consumption are negotiated, and the inherent mobilities of both food and waste have an impact.  This paper examines material and social constructions of waste through a catering firm in Palmerston North, New Zealand, which serves both on-site and off-site consumers.  Preliminary findings of this participant observation over a four month period will be presented, with a view to understanding how the material characteristics of the food, the velocities and means of its travel, and the social, spatial, and temporal practices of assembly and delivery, shape what counts as waste and the conduits through which it flows.