Green goals achieved on campus

Edinburgh has been praised for a project aimed at getting more value out of its electronic waste.

The University’s drive to repair and re-use more of its old computers and used domestic appliances was highlighted at the Scottish Resources Conference 2015.

The project, which involves working with a host of local community organisations, was shortlisted for Best Public Sector Initiative at the event in Glasgow.

This achievement is part of the University’s wider, ongoing effort to encourage sustainable management of resources. Such has been its success that the University now sends zero office waste to landfill.

Staff and students have been working with waste and recycling partner Biffa since December to reduce, re-use and recycle.

Changing perceptions

Edinburgh’s waste contracts officer Sophie Rippinger says perceptions about waste disposal on campus have changed dramatically in the last two years.

Now, she says, there is overwhelming support for the new system. As a result, the University is playing a leading role in helping Scotland deliver its Zero Waste agenda.

Setting an example

Initiatives across campus are setting resourceful examples for other large organisations in Scotland to follow.

Food waste is separately collected in every cafe and kitchen and is treated via anaerobic digestion to generate clean, green renewable energy.

Source-separated glass, paper and card are recycled into new products.

Further improvements in effective glass recycling have been made through designated blue bins throughout the University.

Metals, plastics and dry mixed recycling are sorted at Biffa’s materials recovery facility in Broxburn and then recycled into new products.

General waste that cannot be recycled is converted into a fuel and used to generate electricity.

We had a complete rethink about how resources are managed across the University of Edinburgh. Our waste policy encourages the sustainable management of resources, and with the right partners in place we are well on the way to achieving our goals.

Fleur RuckleyWaste & Environment Manager