Save 4 Waste

Start: 01-01-2022    End: 31-12-2023

Project Reference №: 2021-1-BG01-KA220-SCH-000032763

EU Grant: EUR 137.314,00


Save 4 Waste Project started at the beginning of 2022 with a duration of 2 years, and it is co-funded by the EU Programme ERASMUS+. Partnership includes 6 partners from Bulgaria (2), Greece (2), and North Macedonia (2).





Food waste is a recognized problem that has gained political, economic, and social importance in recent years. Numerous high level political statements formulated in the last decade express the need to combat food waste. It is generated all along the food supply chain at the stages of production, processing, retailing and consumption. Food waste can be defined in many ways and there is no unique methodology for measuring it. Nevertheless, it is generally recognized that, at global level, around one third of the food produced for human consumption is wasted or lost. Food loss is defined as the decrease in quantity or quality of food. Food waste is part of food loss and refers to discarding or alternative (non-food) use of food that is safe and nutritious for human consumption along the entire food supply chain, from primary production to end household consumer level. FAO defines food waste as food which was originally produced for human consumption but was not consumed by humans, instead it was directed into a non-food use (for humans), feed for animals or waste disposal (FAO, 2014). Most of the systemic challenges of eliminating food waste stem from certain mindsets and approaches that in turn come from the loss of our value for food. For many people, it is so accessible that we hardly think about it. Would it not be better to start changing mindsets with our youngest and their schools? Schools are uniquely positioned to help change the culture around food waste management and they can be the drivers for a more thrifty, efficient, and resourceful use of food. Today’s students are tomorrow’s food decision makers. Consequently, students as the generation of the future are the most important people to reach when addressing change in behavior that affects our resources like solid, water, nutrients wasted along with food. It is considered as vital to take pilot actions in high schools. S4W project focuses on piloting actions upon food waste prevention, management and reduction, and aims at fostering students’ ability to think critically and to adopt a proactive attitude by:

– Raising students’ awareness of the problem of food waste;

– Increasing their knowledge about reasons for and impacts of food wastage;

– Pointing them towards specific options for actions that are within their sphere of influence by teaching them new skills related to evaluation of food quality and understanding proper food storage, food preservation options, and so on.

S4W project aims to promote awareness regarding the economic, social, and environmental consequences of food waste, highlighting actions and habits that people can take to reduce their own food waste. The project is going to develop a curriculum and piloting actions which will enable teachers to select those activities that best match the needs, abilities and interests of their students while also conforming to time and resource constraints. Educate and engage the school community, communicate and celebrate food waste management good practices are more important than ever. The pedagogical advantages of initiatives focusing on recycling and composting are multitude. In particular, students can learn by practicing, interacting and expressing their creativity, being aware that the topic of waste is also relevant to their life and the environment outside their schools. What students learn at school has an enormous potential to be immediately applied. S4W project will be based on composting method as it is an easy-to-perform, natural process that transforms organic waste into compost, a valuable and nutrient-rich natural fertilizer to be applied on a school’s garden, and also on 9 circular economy ‘R’ strategies or principles, referred to the 9 R’s, as it has been proposed by EU. Finally, the project anticipates encouraging students to implement mini projects led by them in cooperation with their teachers to find ways to prevent and reduce food waste in their classrooms.



Undoubtedly, food waste is an environmental and social issue that we cannot ignore. Reducing food waste is considered one of the most promising measures to improve food security in the coming decades. Indeed, up to one third of the food produced for human consumption globally is estimated to be wasted or lost, not reaching its original purpose. In developed countries, waste occurs mostly at the distribution and consumption stages of the supply chain, and this is very closely related to shortcomings such as buying or cooking excess food, deficient storage conditions, or undervaluing food. Indubitably, schools have a relevant role to play in educating future consumers. Schools provide a key avenue to both educate, and encourage students to engage in food waste management, as well as helping to improve habits on nutrition, through education on nutritional values and increasing awareness on food relevance. Therefore, tackling this problem through different approaches in the school environment is a marvelous opportunity for the educational community to become aware of food waste and to, thus, promote training initiatives that contribute to minimize food waste by encouraging changes in eating habits towards more sustainable models that can reach many people. More precisely, the question arises here is what knowledge students have in the EU over food waste issues? In alignment to this perspective, S4W project focuses on the following objectives to:

– Train students on issues upon food waste management;

– Raise awareness to students to reduce food waste through pilot actions
-emphasize the important role that schools play as an educational agent sensitizing the future generations on food waste management;

– Demonstrate the potential for reduction of waste through source separation, reuse, and recycling of organic waste;

– Empower teachers and school directors by providing technical knowledge and up-to-date information on waste management and particularly on organic waste management: characteristics, treatment techniques, -challenges, and benefits;

– Present case studies and examples from o the discipline that have been successful in managing the organic fraction of their waste and could adapt on school environments;
– Encourage schools that do not yet take actions to start activities regarding managing waste particularly the organic fraction;

– Spread waste management education wide across schools in European Union by providing useful practices and methods.



S4W project is based on 2 main project results, each of them planned in accordance with the required resources and in view of achieving a manageable distribution of workload among the partners. Each of the results has been detailed in concrete and reasonable activities and outputs in order to allow continuous monitoring of activities. Management will ensure efficient and effective administration. The main activities of the project are:

PR1 – Training Course Development and relevant training material, Piloting test activities on food waste management and practice and S4W Toolkit development for teachers and NGOs.

PR2 – Policy Recommendation Development, Validation and Finalization
Training Material Development.

Project partners will design and develop a training course for teachers from secondary schools to offer insights on food waste management and enhance the understanding of its significance. It is a marvelous opportunity for the educational community to become aware of food waste and to, thus, promote training initiatives that contribute to minimize food waste by encouraging recycling practices, composting methods, and changes in eating habits towards more sustainable models that can reach many people such as adolescents, teenagers, students, volunteers, staff members from involved partner organizations, teachers and further teaching and school staff. The training material will provide all the necessary specific food-related resources, the tools, and the waste management-related information, raising awareness over environmental issues, contributing to both knowledge and skills development and competences. Once the training course is completed, qualified NGOs will train the teachers from secondary schools on the training material. Afterwards, teachers will be responsible to work with their students in order to transmit good practices and the proper knowledge related to food waste management, and thus students will be prepared to work on and implement their own project idea regarding the food waste solutions.



More specifically, the Save4Waste project will encourage a culture over food waste management and reduction, through high schools students’ training and education, promoting discipline over food waste to young generations and strengthening their consciousness. In particular, based on the activities of the project, we expect to contribute to strengthen capacity among EU countries and stakeholders in implementing contemporary, easy to apply approaches in food waste management and composting which is an organic material that can be added to soil to help plants grow. Furthermore, the project expects to introduce the school community to zero waste practices and teach the next generation about the value of food and natural resources. The Save4Waste project is also expected to make food waste a visible problematic issue, raising awareness about it, educating about it and its consequences.

Therefore, S4W project, having been in alignment with the EU priorities, pursues to:

1) Promote training initiatives and practices that contribute to minimize food waste;

2) Engage in and implement composting practices within educational environments such as schools, highlighting its benefits in terms of food security, sustainability and prevention of climate change;

3) Encourage innovative business models from students together with their teachers, encouraging developing innovative ideas and providing solutions to combat food waste.
Reflect on students’ personal contribution to the food waste problem and explore the potential of the waste hierarchy and the circular economy to suggest solutions.

4) Investigate, through the training material, how changes in the way we shop, cook, consume, and store food can help reduce food waste, and provide a better understanding in which foods are being wasted most and why;

5) Collaborate to produce actionable changes that can make an impact on school community;
6) Examine, analyze and compare food waste practices from various fields and discover the innovations and methods that are helping to reduce waste;

7) Increasing students’ knowledge about reasons for and impacts of food wastage as well as food waste prevention measures pointing them towards specific options for actions that are within their sphere of influence by teaching them new skills related to evaluation of food quality and understanding of food durability labels, proper food storage, food preservation options, or purchase planning;

8) Engage with the policies of national governments and the EU and help improve the sustainability of the food system in EU countries.