Korean J Community Nutr.  2007 Dec;12(6):815-825.

Food Waste Management Practices and Influencing Factors at Elementary School Food Services

  • 1Eunjung Elementary School, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Food and Nutrition, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea. kwaktk@yonsei.ac.kr
  • 3Research Insititute of Food & Nutritional Sciences, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Department of Food and Nutrition, Seoul Women's University, Seoul, Korea.


The study was designed to investigate food waste management practices and to identify factors affecting food waste generation at school food services. A total of 202 dietitians employed at elementary schools participated in the survey. The mean food waste weight per school was 77.54 kg, forty percent of the schools generated food waste of 50~100 kg every day and 53% generated plate waste less than 50 kg. Three quarters of the dietitians perceived plate waste as a major component of the food waste and vegetable dishes were a major source of the plate waste. Half of the dietitians used a food waste pick-up service for waste disposal, which was the most preferred waste disposal method. Approximately 90% of the dietitians conducted education on plate waste reduction for students but their perceptions on the effectiveness of the education was inconsistent. The contents were environmental issues (70.3%) and unbalanced food choice (56.7%). According to factor analysis based on performance score, solid waste management practices were grouped into 'information collecting and education', 'supervision of production process', 'cooperation with related groups', and 'control over production planning'. Practices appertaining to 'cooperation with related groups', 'information collecting and education' factor need to be improved. Dietitians should pay attention to 'recycle and reuse of left over' practice. Waste generation differed significantly by dietitians' ages and working experience. In order to reduce plate waste, more effective education materials and methods need to be developed and support from principals, teachers, and parents is necessary.


school food service; food waste; plate waste; nutrition education; source reduction

MeSH Terms

Food Services*
Solid Waste
Waste Management*
Solid Waste
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