AGRI07004 2016 Agri-Food Waste Management

General Details

Full Title
Agri-Food Waste Management
Transcript Title
Agri-Food WM
N/A %
Subject Area
AGRI - Agriculture
ESCI - Environmental Science
07 - NFQ Level 7
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2016 - Full Academic Year 2016-17
End Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
Ann-Marie Duddy
Programme Membership
SG_SAGRI_B07 201800 Bachelor of Science in Science in Agri-Food Science SG_SAGRI_H08 201800 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Science in Agri-Food Science

This module introduces solid waste management and the management of wastewater in a municipal and industrial context. It describes the principles of optimising the use of resources and the reduction of waste (solid and liquid) through the application of the hierarchy of waste management strategies. It outlines the treatment systems for food waste through the exploitation of by-products as sources of food ingredients, and secondary products arising from treatment by composting and anaerobic digestion. It explains the licence/permit requirements relating to food waste, wastewater treatment, packaging waste, hazardous and non-hazardous wastes and the re-use of bio-solids in agriculture. The modules outlines how costs are incurred in the treatment of wastes and wastewaters from food processing.


Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Describe the classification of wastes based on their composition and properties.


Explain the hierarchy of waste management strategies and describe its importance in achieving maximum resource efficiency and the reduction in the quantity and environmental impacts of specified waste streams in food processing.


Explain the function and design criteria of preliminary, primary, secondary and tertiary wastewater treatment processes.


Understand the parameters for measuring the pollution potential of wastewaters, the parameters used to monitor efficiency of wastewater treatment processes and how to determine the cost of treatment.


Demonstrate a knowledge of the relevant legal and regulatory frameworks dealing with specific types of wastes, wastewaters and sludges.


Understand how biosolids can be re-used in agriculture and to determine nutrient loading on land.


Describe the various legislative requirements for producers, holders and hauliers of waste.

Teaching and Learning Strategies


Module Assessment Strategies

The module will be assessed by 100% continuous assessment.

Continuous assessment will involve visits to food processing industries and students will be required to complete labelled flow diagrams of waste and wastewater treatment process.

Summative tests, through a series of in-class short answer questions, will be used to encourage engagement with the module, monitor progress and provide feedback. This approach enables the student to take timely corrective action to avoid failure and to achieve the required standard.


Repeat Assessments

Students will be given an opportunity to demonstrate their theoretical knowledge of the module through in-class tests/examination.

Indicative Syllabus

  1. Characterisation of wastes and wastewaters by physical, chemical and biological composition.
  2. Application of the hierarchy of waste management systems for solid and liquid waste streams.
  3. Introduction to waste segregation and treatment systems such as MRF, MBT, composting, incineration and landfill.
  4. National targets for the reduction of biodegradable waste going to landfill.
  5. Re-use of biosolids in agriculture in compliance with the animal by-product regulations and nutrient management plans.
  6. Parameters used to characterise the pollution potential of biodegradable wastewaters (BOD, population equivalent, COD, suspended solids, forms of nitrogen and phosphorus).
  7. Systems used for the removal of FOG, solids, dissolved and colloidal matter and forms of nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater.
  8. Parameters used to monitor the efficiency of aerobic and anaerobic wastewater treatment plants and compliance with effluent discharge limits.
  9. Factors affecting the operating costs of wastewater treatments plants and systems to minimise running costs.
  10. Systems for the minimisation of water use in washing of plant, vessel and pipelines.
  11. Licensing systems for environmental controls for intensive agriculture and food processing industries (IPPC).
  12. Role of the EPA, local authorities, IFI and DAFM in food production and processing.
  13. Legal requirements for the segregation of various forms of packaging wastes and the role of approved bodies (Repak).


Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Short answer questions Continuous Assessment Assessment 40 % OnGoing 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
2 Site visits Continuous Assessment Assignment 40 % OnGoing 3,4,6,7
3 Written assignment/presentation Continuous Assessment Assessment 20 % Week 9 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Not Specified Theory 3 Weekly 3.00
Site Visit Not Specified Practical Demonstrations 4 Monthly 1.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 4.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
2007-11-30 Waste Management for the Food Industries (Food Science and Technology) Academic Press
ISBN 0123736544 ISBN-13 9780123736543

The continuously increasing human population, has resulted in a huge demand for processed and packaged foods. As a result of this demand, large amounts of water, air, electricity and fuel are consumed on a daily basis for food processing, transportation and preservation purposes. Although not one of the most heavily polluting, the food industry does contribute to the increase in volume of waste produced as well as to the energy expended to do so. For the first time, nine separate food industry categories are thoroughly investigated in an effort to help combat this already acute problem. The current state of environmental management systems is described, offering comparisons of global legislation rarely found in other resources. An extensive review of commercial equipment, including advantages and disadvantages per employed waste management technique, offers a unique perspective for any academic, student, professional, and/or consultant in the food, agriculture and environmental industries.

* Thoroughly examines the most prevalent and most polluting industries such as Meat, Fish, Dairy, Olive Oil, Juice and Wine industries
* Includes synoptical tables [methods employed, physicochemical or microbiological parameters altered after treatment etc] and comparative figures of the effectiveness of various waste management methods
* Contains nearly 2500 of the most up-to-date references available

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government. 2005. Action at Work: A Guide for Large Organisations to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

EPA, 2012 (or most recent), National Waste Database Report.

EPA, 2009, National Waste Prevention Programme (NWPP) Outline Work Plan 2009-2012

Woodard & Curran, I. 2011, Industrial Waste Treatment Handbook, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford. (e-book)

Williams, Paul T. (2005) Waste treatment and disposal (2nd ed). Wiley Chichester, West Sussex ; Hoboken, NJ, USA

URL Resources


Other Resources


Additional Information