Waste Coordinators share good practice at annual meet-up
On Wednesday 14 June 2017, staff from the University’s Waste Coordinator network and interested students met to celebrate progress, share good practice and discuss targets for the year ahead.
Over 40 staff and students attended the third annual Waste Coordinator Meet up at Godfrey Thomson Hall.
Alan Peddie, Project Coordinator in the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability gave an update on how the Waste Coordinator network has grown in the last 12 months to now include over 100 staff, and key savings made with “Warp It” and the PC reuse project.
The last 12 months have been really successful, with our Waste Coordinator Network growing to 106 individuals, and our Warp It users now at 731. We’ve been able to reuse over 1,000 PCs thanks to the PC reuse project ran through Warp It, showing that reusing equipment makes financial sense.
Kate Fitzpatrick, Waste Manager, updated the network with Waste statistics from the previous year and options for reuse.
Both passed on their thanks to the network for their efforts to reduce waste and increase recycling in their departments, as well as encouraging sustainable behaviours among colleagues.
Sharing best practice
Waste and Recycling Coordinators from the Institute for Academic Development and Roslin Institute gave examples of successful projects they were running to reduce paper use and plastic cup use respectively.
Lucy Ridley from the IAD discussed how - with a bit of help from technology, effective engagement and some creativity - the Institute managed to reduce paper waste from January to May by a fantastic 45,000 pages.
Stephen Hooker from Roslin discussed a plastic cup reduction project. Each year Roslin buys 500 reusable water bottles and give them to staff and students. This simple measure, coupled with some engagement, has saved 69,000 cups since last September.
Both case studies showed how simple projects that are well managed and tracked can make a huge difference.
Common challenges and proposed solutions
The network discussed common challenges to resource efficiency, and solutions to overcome them:
Lack of awareness of how to recycle properly and how to obtain reused goods
Resource inefficiency - buying and printing too much
Contamination of the recycling stream
Better staff inductions and resource efficiency information throughout the year
A better understanding of what a department really needs to buy and print
Remove common recycling contaminants such as plastic and paper cups, and provide reusable ceramic/glass cups instead.
Targets for the future
The Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability will continue to work closely with the Waste Department to encourage the University community to achieve resource efficiency and expand the successful PC reuse project.
Waste Coordinators were encouraged to:
Tell their colleagues about the Waste Coordinator network and Warp It, and encourage sign ups to both.
Encourage best practice within their own departments, and ensure new staff know what best practice looks like.
Get more people involved in printing less, using less paper cups and using more reusable cups.
Congratulations to Catherine Gilliland, Anders Jespersen, Lorna Bathgate, Rachel Collie and Andrew Dinse-Harrower who each won a Keep Cup!