The University of Southampton has now introduced a new recycling scheme in order to increase the environmental awareness of staff and students, as well as to help reach their recycled material target for 2013.
Recycling has two main benefits: reducing greenhouse gases (GHG’s) emitted from landfill sites; and saving money, as recycling waste is cheaper than sending to landfill. In 2010/2011, only 46% of the 1,700 tonnes of waste produced by the university was recycled, with 70% of that sent to landfill actually being recyclable! The new system launched this autumn aims to cut this figure down to help reach the 60% recycled material target by July 2013.
The new initiative involves only two bins in kitchen and rest room areas in university buildings: one caddy for waste food; the other for mixed recyclables. Glass is NOT to be placed into the mixed recyclables bin, nor are batteries, which must go in a separate battery box within the building or be sent to the Estates and Facilities department.
Hazardous waste and bins within laboratory areas are NOT part of the new recycling initiative as special disposal requirements must of course be adhered to.
Items to be placed into the food bin:
- Tea bags
- Coffee granules
- Cooked & uncooked foods
- Fruit peelings
- Paper tissues
- Paper plates
- Wooden stirrers
- Compostable packaging
Crisp packets and chocolate wrappers cannot be put into the food bin.
All other items are to be placed into the mixed recyclables bin – any packaging of which you are unsure if it is compostable or not must be disposed of here too.
- DO NOT recycle glass here
- DO NOT recycle batteries here
- DO NOT put hazardous waste here
Crisp packets and chocolate wrappers are also to be placed into this bin – they are not recyclable, due to their composite nature, but the contractor at the university kindly separates these out before disposal.
Both the food caddy and mixed recyclable bins will be emptied on a daily basis during the week; however office bins will no longer be emptied.
Part of the initiative is to encourage staff and students to recycle more so they are more aware of the environmental benefits of doing so. Office bins can still be kept to use personally; however for collection, the contents must be placed in kitchen or rest room areas with the food caddy and mixed recyclable bins.
The university stresses that mixed recyclables and food waste bins should not be cross-contaminated as this affects the efficiency of the scheme.
As a one-off collection, office bins which are no longer required can be placed alongside the above two bins within kitchen and rest room areas for disposal. This is not a refuse collection service, but a method of bin removal – the bins can either be reused elsewhere on the premises or recycled.
Recycling is incredibly important if we want to maintain an environmentally friendly university. Since the university campuses spread far and wide, in total the volume of waste is high. It doesn’t take much effort for each student and staff member to think about how to dispose of their waste and together we can all help reach the 60% recycling target by July 2013.
Don’t forget that once you have finished with your copy of Wessex Scene be sure to place it into a Mixed Recycling bin.