Composting App

Research and Inspiration

Research was conducted to find articles on the food waste problem and what consumers could do to help the reduction of food waste. I found articles by the CBC “7 ways to reduce household food waste”, the United States Environmental Protection Agency website dedicated to “Reducing Food Waste for Businesses”, The Food Waste Alliance toolkit “Best Practices & Emerging Solutions Toolkit”, and our beloved David Suzuki endorsed a blog from the Queen of Green on “Reduce food waste with a billion dollar meal plan.” Each of these mediums had two themes common: reduce the amount of food purchased through a meal plan or planning your inventory (for businesses) and think of alternative ways of disposing of your food waste. These two ideas led me to my current design and the processes behind it.


Why is food thrown out in your home?

Family – 2 Adults, 2 Children – Condo living, no garden, both parents employed

  1. Faulty fridge – perishable items such as vegetables and salad materials sometimes freeze and are inedible
  2. Cook too much – left overs get pushed to the back of the fridge and then thrown out after 3 days of not being eaten
  3. Trying out new recipes and they don’t turn out well
  4. Yogurt – not finished before expiration date
  5. Fruit – once signs of being over ripe or spotty are thrown out, if there is time will be used in baking


  • Container that alerted that there was left over food before it went bad
  • Better fridge

Newly Weds – 2 Adults + Dog, house, Arizona, garden, both working

  1. Cooks too much – left overs are forgotten outside the fridge and goes bad in the heat
  2. No meal planning – buy groceries in bulk and end up with too much stuff, don’t end up being used before the best before date
  3. Busy lifestyle – both travel a lot for work, so not home to cook and use groceries


  • Containers that alerted to left overs
  • Not buying in bulk – proportion services
  • Doesn’t garden

Singles – 2 single students in Toronto, apartment, no garden

  1. First moved in cooked a lot – would end up buying food out more often. Food at home would go bad. Every week, ½ of food purchases would be thrown out
  2. Stopped grocery shopping beforehand and goes when needed – tries not to have leftovers
  3. No meal planning – thinks it’s not conducive for singles living in Toronto. Thinks of meal planning as being a suburban practice.
  4. Unpredictable schedule – stays out late and eats out a lot


  • Portion delivery service
  • Meal planning

Working family – 4 adults, house, garden, 3 working, 1 student

  1. Different schedules – no alignment in schedules so not all ingredients are used
  2. Different Diets – cooking together not always an easy task
  3. Visitors – will either show up unannounced or will not show up when they say they are visiting – therefore lots of leftovers that are thrown away in a few days
  4. Quality of food – cheaper ingredients are bought that do not last or are forgotten in the fridge


  • Meal planning
  • Composting
  • Infographic on food storage

Restaurant owner – 1 owner, 2 managers, 4 cooks

  1. Orders too much ingredients and have to throw some out
  2. Bylaws for food – throw things out after expiration date
  3. Notice customers leave food behind – possible portions too large
  4. Liability of donating food to ensure they are handled safely


  • Food waste management donations
  • Regulatory constraints
  • Storage of food




App Design Overview