Bug Wars against Food Waste Project to reduce food waste on campus and raise public awareness
Issue No. 136 Mar 2023
Lingnan University has launched its Bug Wars against Food Waste Project in order to both reduce food waste and turn it into a useful asset.
Black soldier flies are fed with food waste collected from student hostels and canteens, turning into organic fertiliser for the Lingnan Gardeners Project and plants on campus, as well as quality feed for animals on campus.
“The goal of this project is to reduce food waste in a sustainable and innovative way,” Prof Jonathan Fong, Chairman of the Health, Safety and Environment Committee of LU, said, adding that Hong Kong’s daily food waste would fill almost a hundred subway trains.
President Cheng (middle) and guests feed black soldier flies with food waste at the project kick-off ceremony on 27 March.
“We feed food waste to the larvae of black soldier flies, and when they grow up we take their pupae, which can be fed to campus animals in the Science Unit laboratory and the turtle pond. What is left can be used as fertiliser. This is how sustainability works,” Prof Fong continued.
Prof Jonathan Fong
There are four bug war sites on campus, and the pilot study also aims to raise public awareness and understanding of the environment and sustainability.
Prof Fong also explained how the project relates to research and teaching. “This is a way to start teaching our students about scientific analyses. As scientists, we give students the chance to explore factors affecting the activity and growth of these bugs, like temperature and food.”
“The success of this initiative will allow us to introduce black soldier flies to other universities and even the community as a whole,” said Willy Kwong, Executive Director of A Plastic Ocean Foundation, and an advisory board member of LU’s Science Unit. “Nature-based solutions are one of the most cost-effective ways to use the natural environment to help us repair the damage we have created.”
A certificate of appointment was presented to Low-Carbon Ambassadors, who represent the staff, students and the elderly responsible for developing and applying innovative ideas to resolve community issues, and promoting a more sustainable lifestyle.
Prof Leonard K Cheng, President of LU, said the project is one of the University’s endeavours to address the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “Embracing sustainability, we are dedicated to reaching and promoting the SDGs. In addition to achieving Zero Hunger (SDG 2), Climate Action (SDG 13), Life on Land (SDG 15) and Partnerships for the Goals (SDG 17), the Bug Wars against Food Waste Project also copes with the longstanding sustainability challenge posed by food waste to Hong Kong,” he said.
The campaign is a joint project by the Science Unit, the Office of Student Affairs, the Office of Service-Learning, the Office of the Comptroller, and the Lingnan Gardeners of Lingnan University, with the support of A Plastic Ocean Foundation, the charitable organisation addressing plastic pollution through science, education and policy advocacy.