This year the University exceeded its target of diverting 50% of waste away from landfill.
During 2011/12 the University reduced the total amount of waste it produced by 243 tonnes from the previous year which is a reduction of 16% on last year’s figures. The total amount recycled was 53.7% which exceeds the ambitious target of 50% for 2011/12.
Recycling has been successful this year thanks to the efforts made by staff and student across campus as well as the commitment of our waste management contractors, Select. A trial was carried out in June to convert our general waste into Electricity at an Energy-from-Waste plant, the trial proved successful and managed to divert 4.85% of waste away from landfill, further work will be carried out to see if this can be done for all our general waste.
Recycling bins have become a prominent feature across the University Campus, very little contamination of bins has occurred over the last year which has also boosted recycling figures.
Glass recycling continues to be successful across the campus, with the strategic positioning of bottle banks and the addition of location maps on the website, staff and student are able to recycle glass from any location.
Recycling of confidential waste has risen steadily over the last 5 years, this can be attributed to the efficient system set up between the post room, portering and Select which has enabled staff to dispose of confidential waste effectively.
The amount of food waste recycled has risen significantly since the introduction of a regular collections from catering outlets. This year saw 104 tonnes of food waste recycled via an Anaerobic Digestion plant near Oxford where it is broken down by bacteria to produce biogases; these biogases are then used to produce renewable electricity which is fed back to the grid. The process also produces digestate which can be used as fertiliser for local farms. Keep an eye out for new case studies on the Clean and Green pages.
To ensure that recycling rates continue to improve, staff are encouraged to remove desk side bins and install central bins for mixed recycling, paper and card and general waste. This encourages people to think about what they are throwing away and whether they can recycle it. Posters and clear signage have been produced to accompany recycling bins to ensure that people know what can be recycled in the mixed recycling and paper and card bins and what can’t. An A-Z guide to waste and recycling can be found on the Clean and Green website which details what other wastes can be recycled and how e.g. batteries, electrical items and toner cartridges.
A big thank you to all those involved including the Environmental Champions who make an extra effort to recycle and a special thanks goes to the Clean and Green team, Cleaners and the Porters without whom we would all be drowning in rubbish!
Please forward any questions about waste and recycling services to the EEST team – firstname.lastname@example.org or Ext. 6968.
Environment, Energy, Sustainability, and Travel Team – Campus Services