Skip to main content

Understanding food waste reduction barriers

Our project aimed to conduct preliminary research to understand why 35-40% of the black bag waste (known as residual waste) in Harrow Council contains food waste in the presence of a separate food waste collection scheme and promotion of food waste reduction initiatives nationwide.

This is important to helping Harrow Council improve its sustainability, and promote maximisation of multi-dimensional (i.e. environmental, economic, social and technical) value recovery from waste. For example, the difference between incineration, which is widely practiced for the management of residual waste, and anaerobic digestion plants that are used for food waste management, is around £90 per tonne of waste. Diverting food waste from the residual waste stream could thus save the council money that can be used for other purposes benefiting the residents of the council (social value), whilst contributing to environmental and technical benefits (e.g. less waste disposed to landfill, carbon savings, and secondary resource production).

With this study we gained insights into householders' disengagement with the food waste collection and reduction practices (FWCR) promoted by the Council, and the obstacles that lead to such behaviour. This will enable us to develop the enabling mechanisms/ tools/ information that could support householders to change their attitude towards FWCR practices and effectively change their behaviour.

The study employed a qualitative research methodology in the form of online in-depth interviews with participants within the age group of 18-30 years old, which the Council considered to require the most attention. The Interviews have been analysed through thematic analysis. A summary of our findings has been disseminated to various stakeholders (council, practitioners, academics, residents) via a co-development workshop online, which generated a list of ideas on socio-technical solutions that could be developed to address FWCR in the council.

This project was funded by a HEIF Innovation Voucher. 

Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Professor Danae Manika
Professor Danae Manika - Danae Manika (PhD, University of Texas at Austin) is Professor of Marketing at Brunel Business School and Deputy Dean of the College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences. Previously, Danae was Associate Head of Brunel Business School. Before joining Brunel University London, she was Professor of Marketing at Newcastle University Business School, where she led its London Campus as Academic Group Head and held the Deputy Director of Research role at Newcastle University Business School. Danae in the past has also held academic positions at Queen Mary University of London, Durham University and the University of Texas at Austin; and is currently Visiting Professor at Newcastle University and Queen Mary University of London. Prior to her academic career, Danae worked as an Account Planning Intern in advertising agencies such as Latinworks in Austin, TX, and DDB in New York. She obtained a Ph.D and a M.A. in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. Honours in Marketing from University of Stirling. Danae’s recent research has been published in journals such as: Journal of Service Research, Journal of Business Ethics, Tourism Management, Annals of Tourism Research, Psychology and Marketing, European Journal of Marketing, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Journal of Business Research, European Management Review, and International Business Review, amongst others. Using an interdisciplinary approach, Danae’s research focuses on effective message construction for behaviour change within the contexts of health, well-being and the environment. She is involved in various consultancies (e.g., Harrow Council, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council, RECOUP, Global Action Plan, Texas Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition), and her research has been supported by £414,000+ of funding (e.g., CRUK, EPSRC/Innovate UK, NERC/NCAS, RED, and Arrow/ERDF). Danae is Section Editor for the Journal of Business Ethics (section: Marketing Ethics; FT50 journal), and Associate Editor (AE) for Business and Society and the Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising, while in the past she was AE for the Journal of Marketing Management (2017-21). She is also currently on the Editorial Review Boards of:Technological Forecasting & Social Change, and Journal of Marketing Management; with guest editor experience across multiple top journals. Danae also has experience as: funding reviewer for Cancer Research UK (2015-19); and track chair for the Academy of Marketing Science World Marketing Congress Conference in 2023, the Transformative Consumer Research Conference in 2021, and the European Social Marketing Association Conference in 2016.

Related Research Group(s)


Entrepreneurship and Sustainability - Our focus is on how individuals, businesses and societies can tap into creative and entrepreneurial flair to develop innovative solutions, in order to not only create economic value, but also solve social and environmental problems.

Partnering with confidence

Organisations interested in our research can partner with us with confidence backed by an external and independent benchmark: The Knowledge Exchange Framework. Read more.

Project last modified 14/11/2023