The University is spread across three sites: the campuses Heslington West, Heslington East and Kings Manor in the City centre. We have over 15,000 students and around 3,500 staff working and studying on campus, with over 5,000 student bedrooms and 560 student kitchens. Combined with our retail and catering outlets and the support service offices, we have the capacity to generate a substantial amount of waste.
The development of our general waste and food waste strategies presents us with an opportunity to reduce the amount of waste we generate and explore new and more effective ways of dealing with any residual waste we are left with.
See also our Don;t waste the waste: Recycle webpages.
The ultimate aspiration of the University is zero to landfill. The journey towards this starts with a look at what happens to our current waste in terms of collection and disposal. Our aims are to improve the levels of recycling and to move the remaining waste higher up the Waste Management Hierarchy.
2011 recycling levels were calculated to be around 29%. We are taking steps to increase this figure. This year (2012) we will be changing the way in which we collect and dispose of the waste we generate on campus. We are moving away from asking people to sort their recycling waste before throwing it into the correct bins. From May 2012 we will provide recycling bins which will take mixed recycling waste (with the exception of glass which may be included at a later date).
Studies have shown that this mixed method increases the amount of recycling typically by around 25%. Mixed bins make it simpler and easier for user to recycle and it's easier for the waste company to collect and transport the materials.
By taking out food waste and waste to be recycled, the levels of residual waste should drop dramatically but will still remain a large percentage of total campus waste. This will go to our contractor to be sorted. Any materials that can be recycled will be removed and any remaining waste shredded and sorted into fine aggregate materials or refuse-derived fuel. This will move our residual waste higher up the Waste Management Hierarchy.
Food waste sent to landfill causes problems for the environment such as greenhouse gas emissions.
Food waste is classed as 'bio-waste' and it is likely that regulation will ban bio-waste from being sent to landfill in the not too distant future.
The challenge to the University is to develop methods of collecting and disposing of the food waste generated in our student and catering kitchens and the staff kitchens located around campus.
The most effective and sustainable solution to bio-waste is anaerobic digestion. Current research shows that anaerobic digestion is environmentally better than composting and other recovery option and therefore it is higher up on the food Waste Hierarchy.
This summer (2012) we will put on trial a number of kitchen food caddy bins to experiment with different styles and sizes and routines for disposing of food waste generated from our student kitchens and facilities. The aim will be to run with the preferred caddies and disposal methods from the start of the new academic year 2012/13.
Furniture reuse scheme
Don't throw away your unwanted goods and furniture!
Advertise it on the Goods and Furniture Reuse Scheme.
OR advertise on the small ads
New clothes banks
British Heart Foundation clothes banks now located
at every college.
Did you know...?
- The University recycled 50% of total 2012 waste
- It costs £133 in tax per tonne to send food waste to landfill
Don't Waste The Waste