Provides detail on the approach towards Waste and Recycling at the University, the achievements to date and future targets and information on the shared Recycling Point roll out.
The University adopted a Recycling and Waste Management Policy in 2010. This policy includes a strong message of intent to continue to increase recycling and minimise waste sent to landfill.
In the year 2011-12, the University recycled 78% of it's waste from academic and support buildings. The University aims to increase recycling by 3% and decrease waste to landfill by 3% year on year.
In order to achieve this change, we have both been rolling recycling infrastructure out across the estate and working in partnership with our waste contractors (Veolia) to ensure that our waste is dealt with as effectively as possible.
However, recent changes in European and Scottish legislation mean that during 2013 we must now take another step forward and provide full recycling infrastructure across the estate as well as further improving the quality of our recycling streams.
We will therefore be providing shared recycling points in each building, and, as many of us do at home already, individuals will need to take responsibility for ensuring waste is appropriately deposited at these shared recycling points.
We currently have two different approaches in operation.
In areas involved in the initial roll out, shared Recycling Points comprising of an Mixed Recycling (orange lidded), Paper & Card (blue lidded) and General Waste (black lidded) bins are placed in accessible locations. In these areas individual office bins are no longer emptied (usually they are removed completely) to allow the cleaners to focus on the shared points (and other cleaning tasks).
In all other areas, where staff still have under-desk bins, staff are asked to dispose of their wet waste (containing food, dirty food packaging, tea bags, etc) in black lined bins within shared kitchens. Dry waste (which is a combination of recyclable and non-recyclable items) is then disposed of within under-desk bins.
This year, in order to meet the changed requirements of Scottish legislation, we will be rolling shared recycling points out across the academic and support estate (our accomodation estate has already fully converted to this approach).
Based on findings from the first phase of our work (and on altered legislative and contractual requirements) we are simplifying and clarifying our Mixed Recycling stream. As such, in most cases, the shared Recycling Points delivered during 2013 will consist of two options (Mixed Recycling - orange lid; and General Waste - black lid).
New labelling and new posters and other materials will be supplied along with the new bins in order to clarify to staff what can and what cannot be recycled.
The final stage will be to revisit the areas involved in phase 1 in order to ensure that their infrastructure is working for them (e.g. refresh the labels and address locations, and communications).
This article was published on Feb 20, 2013